Friends, I will admit that I am not always content. That being said, I’ve learned a lot – via experience and otherwise – about enjoying the speed at which we each walk through in life. When Ben and I were dating, I loved that time of getting to know one another. When we were engaged, I loved preparing for our wedding and marriage (even though it was CRAZY busy as I was a college athlete and student teacher while planning the wedding!). When we were married and kid-less, I loved focusing on our spousal relationship and pouring energy into the students we each got to teach. Then we became parents. And I love this too.
How can each of these be so wonderful? Because life has been easy-peasy and we’ve never run into problems? If you could see me spit out my green smoothie as I laugh at the absurdity of this, you’d understand that is most definitely not the case! Actually, it’s pretty opposite…
Each piece of my life’s puzzle – whether easy, difficult, exhilarating, disappointing, or somewhere in between – has been amazing because I focused on just that stage. Not the one ahead or behind, but what is right in front of me.
I often equate contentedness with a lack of worry. And it is no coincidence that hurry and worry rhyme. My all-time favorite basketball coach, John Wooden, is attributed as saying, “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” Life is always moving, but we do have some say regarding our urgency in moving from one stage to the next. Are you enjoying the time while being quick* or are you hurrying?
God has something to teach every one of us in each of our seasons – some faster than others – but all of us need to check our speed. Everyone’s speed in different phases of life is going to be different: I think of friends who got married and had their first child 10 months later versus us having Serafina days after our 4 year anniversary. Both options are great…unless you’re so focused on the next thing that you can’t enjoy/witness God’s work in the present.
There seems to have been a default speed for each stage of my life so far: dating, we were in the 30 mph range, fast enough to be moving toward engagement but slow enough to give ourselves the chance to get to know one another; our engagement was pedal-to-the-metal even though it was 9 months long because of all of the things going on during that time of our lives (both finishing college + I was student teaching and an NCAA athlete), our early marriage was one of those country roads that slows down to 35 through congested areas but opens back up to 50 mph; and our current speed is like one of those school speed zones, slowing down when children are present.
This really hit home for me was when we were DINKs (dual-income-no-kids) aka our first few years of marriage. It felt like everyone asked us so. many. times. when were going to have kids. We already had 300 kids of our own – 150 students each – and God had given us a vision and purpose in serving those kids until we were called to have kids of our own. Since having Serafina, I don’t know how parents teach full-time! We were able to give our students our full attention and efforts which allowed us to witness in ways we never thought possible.
I sincerely believe God doesn’t want us rushing through life. When we rush, we risk missing out on seeing Him work in and through us. click to tweet
Seeing this in my own life – and being thankful that I heeded His guidance to not make “the next step” into an idol – I wanted to encourage my closest friends to do so as well. I was not trying to force my own life’s timing on them but rather to be in the moment and enjoy the season that they were in at the time (whether they were dating, engaged, married, or wanting another child). God gives us wisdom through our experiences and we have a responsibility to share this whether it’s in a friendship** or formally in the context of a mentor relationship.
Most of us are over the speed limit and some of us won’t make changes until we get a ticket aka really get ourselves into trouble. How many warnings will it take before you slow down and make some changes? What can you do to get back within a reasonable speed rather than always feeling like you’re about to careen off the road at the next tight turn? For us, it meant figuring out how to live off of one income so I could stay home with Serafina.
Or maybe you’re tailgating and think the speed limit should be higher, that you should get to move on the to next phase now instead of continuing to wait. Trusting God’s timing and infinite wisdom rather than pushing the envelope requires a shift in our attitude toward what He has us to do in the here and now rather than what we want to be doing in the future. He does fulfill the desires of our heart…but in His timing, not ours.
Jesus tells us to not worry about our lives and Paul encourages us to not be anxious about anything…why then would we worry about the next stage of our lives? Check your speed – and your attitude toward the speed your life is currently at – and enjoy what God has for you. He won’t disappoint you. click to tweet
Thank you for reading; I hope this was an encouraging reminder to be in His presence and live in His timing. I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below or contact me.
In Him, Rachel
*As Christians, we are called to always be ready because we don’t know when our life is over or when Jesus will come back. That is living with a sense of holy urgency (Matthew 24:42).
**Even the best of intentions get misconstrued and in encouraging a close friend to “watch her speed,” she eventually decided our friendship was not something she wanted to continue to invest in.
Shared over at A Mama’s Story’s Mama Moments Mondays Link-Up for the week of January 6th, 2014