February 5

Today's quotation:

Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you are going.  Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Nancy Simms

Today's Meditation:

I like racing.  I like seeing how long it takes me to get from one point to another over an established distance, running against other people who are also going as fast as their bodies--and their current ability level--allow them to go.  But I don't want my life to be that way.  When I race, I rarely notice my surroundings.  It's harder to breathe, so I'm not able to talk to the people with whom I'm racing.  I have to watch the road ahead of me so that I can avoid obstacles and possible injury.  And I get tired, and necessarily so.  After all, that's the goal of racing--to push yourself to your limits for a short period of time, which is going to wear you out.

But the racing stops when I'm off the course.  I no longer hurry when I'm going through my daily life, unless I happen to be late from time to time.  Over the years, I've adopted and developed the habit of doing everything I can early, so that I don't have to hurry and I can enjoy getting where I need to go.  If I have a three-hour drive, I leave an hour early so that I can enjoy the ride and maybe even stop somewhere nice for a walk or a cup of coffee.  If I have class at nine, I often go the a cafe nearby at eight so that I have a chance to unwind and relax--and maybe even review my plans--before I go there.

Hurry so often is a choice, and it's one that we don't realize that we're making.  We think of just the destination and time, and we don't put much thought into the journey itself.  But there's much to love in that journey.  In fact, if our destination in life is ultimately death, then our entire lives are journeys towards our final goal.  And that's a journey that's well worth experiencing to the fullest.

Let's slow down.  Let's meander a bit, and not worry about being the first one somewhere.  Let's take the time to listen when others talk, and not try to hurry them through what they're saying.  Let's actually stop and smell those roses, and not just give them a perfunctory sniff as we pass by.

Life is like a good meal--it's best to be enjoyed at a slow, leisurely pace, relishing the flavors and the textures and the sights.  Sometimes, we must move more quickly than at other times, but very often we have the choice to slow down and enjoy less rather than speed up and pass by more.

Questions to consider:

How often are you willing to take a scenic route to get somewhere you want to go?

What are some of the things we miss when we hurry by things?

Does being in a hurry benefit us in some ways?  Or are we simply over-committing ourselves?
For further thought:

By slowing down and relishing the unfolding of every experience, you arenít choosing to be less accomplished or productive than others.  Youíre choosing to be accomplished and productive in ways they may not even understand.  Youíre choosing to change whatís within your own heart and mind, thereby becoming a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.  By no longer rushing through, youíre choosing to stop focusing so much of your energy on the wanting and yearning, the wishing it was done, the frustration with what hasnít happened yet; and to make, instead, the most of every experience as it unfolds at its own pace.

Nea Justice
   
  

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