BY MINH CANG
This is the third in a series of posts.
Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…. Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.
The peace, joy, and rejuvenation my husband and I experienced from our afternoon date was slowly fading as the stress of completing things on our to-do list mounted. It was 5:30pm – we still had to pick up the kids from their Awanas bible study class, dinner needed to be made, and our little people still had to be fed and bathed before their bedtime routine. Our evening morphed into what seemed like a series of sprints that would potentially leave our family breathless, too frazzled to fully focus and cherish God’s goodness in the present moment.
So here we are again, faced with a familiar blurry scene. Would we choose to repeat the cycle of rushing or would we choose to end the evening at a slower pace? In that moment, my husband and I chose the latter. We didn’t want to fall back into the rhythm of rushing through life yet again, so we bucked the trend and made a conscious decision to slow down and be present.
That evening, we invited our children to join us in cooking dinner. This wasn’t the first occasion they’ve cooked with us, yet somehow it felt different this time. It wasn’t just another activity to be checked off from our to-do list. With the sound of praise music playing softly in the background, we felt the Spirit move in each of us and through our kitchen, filling our home with Peace as we chose to slow down and enjoy each other. That evening, making boxed mac and cheese turned into an opportunity for focused connection.
A few things stood out to me upon reflecting on that evening:
- We have a choice to live unrushed and the power to set the tone in our homes. Instead of the usual buzz of frenzied activity, the atmosphere in our house that Sunday night overflowed with joy and heavenly peace.
- Rushing leaves us rattled and empty. My husband and I could have clamored in the kitchen, hurrying the kids to finish their meal-all so we could sit down together on the couch, exhausted from yet another busy, muddled day. Our hurried hearts would’ve subtracted from the work God accomplished with our family just a few hours earlier.
- When we slow down, small details come into clearer focus. When we rush, we miss out on the wonders of little miracles that may sometimes be revealed in the sound of children laughing while cooking boxed mac n cheese.
- Our Father desires to grow spiritual fruits in us-a process that takes time. The Spirit of Peace, Gentleness and Self Control abound as our hearts recalibrate and learn to patiently follow and trust God’s lead.
Looking to Christ, we see that Jesus never rushed his ministry. Take the story of Lazarus in John 11 as an example. A dear friend of Jesus, Lazarus lay in bed deathly ill, while his sisters, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” If there was any occasion to hurry, this would count as one of them. Not only did Jesus not rush, he delayed his return to Bethany for two more days! By the time Jesus and his disciples arrived, Lazarus had already passed away and been resting in the tomb for four days-there was no doubt his friend was dead.
Jesus delayed intentionally. His deliberate choice to arrive on the fourth day dispelled Jewish superstition that believed “the soul stays near the grave for three days, hoping to return to the body.” “Through His actions, Jesus demonstrated that his delays were not denials. They would bring greater glory to God (source).”
In the end, we see Jesus calling Lazarus forth, leaving death powerless at the grave. This is a miracle that gets repeated day after day as He calls each of us, who were dead in sin, to step forth from our tombs into a new life, unhurried and fully focused on bringing Our Father in Heaven the utmost glory.
Minh Cang is a 34 year old relentless pursuer of Christ, who spills joy all around her. She lives in Northern Virginia, where she loves to laugh and snuggle with her husband and their two (soon to be three) children. She is a brave adventurer and will try anything at least once. An encourager and prayer warrior at heart, she loves to connect with others and speak life into those around her.