Tuesday, February 17, 2015

It's Hard to Slow Down When It's Always Sunny

Looking back, I remember often having the guilty feeling that I should be outside. 
On a sunny day, I might want to lay in bed and read or play with my dolls, but I'd think,
"It's too nice of a day to stay indoors," and with a guilty pressure, I'd head outside.
I would almost anxiously wait for it to get dark because then I'd have permission to come back inside!  Maybe that's why I've always loved the rain.  It gives me freedom to be inside without guilt!
But when you live in the Golden State, where it is sunny about 360 days a year, there isn't much freedom to remain inside, still, quiet, under a blanket for those such as me.
A few years back when I read Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts," something profound struck me.
She encourages all to slow down, stop rushing through life as if it were an emergency.  Slow down and live fully in the moment.  Slow down and notice the details in a spider's web, the reflection in a drop of water, slow down and receive the gifts of God that are all around us in the details we often overlook because we are spinning too wildly with busy and haste.
With a group of women, we discussed Ann's question about the dangers of a hurried life, "Describe a time or season of your life when you were moving so rapidly that you skimmed over many of the good gifts God has given you.  As you look back, what did you miss because of the sheer speed you were moving?"
Something hit me about this struggle to slow down and the dangers of a hurried life -
It's hard to slow down when it's always sunny.
And that's it! 
I've grown up where it is always sunny and there are little to no "seasons."  With a guilt that started somehow as a child, I've constantly forced myself to be out and productive when the sun was shining, which is 90% of my days!  How can I possibly slow down when I live in a place that demands a "go go go" pace sheerly because of the weather?!
If you live where there are true seasons, you are forced to slow down, whether you want to or not!
A true winter causes you to drive slower in the snow and sleet.
You hunker down inside because the elements outside are too harsh to face.
You cozy up by a fire because you are chilled to the bone.
You slow down and are still because you have no other choice.
Don't get me wrong, I know many are buried in snow right now and not exactly seeing it as a gift to slow down!  My cousin is home from school in Pennsylvania because of freezing weather and snow and my Uncle in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is telling of 21 degrees below zero temps (is that even legal??)  And our dear friends in Tennessee are home from school because of the harsh cold, and they are not telling these tales in a joyous tone!  They are lamenting in a way!
But it is a gift to be forced to stay home and slow down. 
We live in a world of super sonic jets, but we were created for camel travel!
Cancel the life plans that demand being on time, prepared and ready.
Just sit at home and be still.
It rained here last weekend.
All day Saturday!
It was glorious.
For the most part I sat on the couch and did nothing.
We had a birthday party scheduled to celebrate my son turning 6, but we canceled it.
Mostly because he caught a little cold, but also because of the rain that wouldn't allow the party to be outside.  I honestly spent most of the day disappointed that I could be more productive and throw the party!  But after several hours of shifting my "go go go" thinking, I sunk into the rhythm of the rain and just relaxed.
It's raining, so it's time to slow down and just enjoy the gift that is now.
It wasn't long before the sun came out again and the struggle began again.
How can we slow down and enjoy this one beautiful life we've been given?
If you're at home today because of the weather - school is canceled, roads are closed, work is shut down - be grateful and enjoy the slowing you were meant to live in.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...