Monday, January 13, 2014

Life Is Better When You're Not In A Hurry

It's easy to get caught up in this fast paced society we live in. After all, everything is geared for speed. Our cars are fast, our food is fast, our internet is fast (or sometimes fast).

However, I recently was reminded that life is better when you're not in a hurry. It occurred to me when I was driving down route 24 one morning on my way to the beach, in the off season. I'm fortunate to live near the beach, and I try to get there as often as I can, even if it's to get a glimpse of the ocean, just to see what's going on.

So I was driving along, not in any real hurry because it was my day off. And as an experiment, I decided to drive the speed limit, 50mph. Then I began to realize something. It was kind of nice! I was starting to enjoy just cruising along at an easy pace, with no appointment to rush to, and no particular place to go except the beach. It was then that I realized that life is so much better when you're not in a hurry all the time.

I felt like I had time to just look at the scenery, the sky, and trees and the various colors around me as I slowly sailed down the highway. That is, until I was broken out of my trance by a glance in the rear view mirror. There was a line of about 10 cars behind me! So much for driving in a daze. I had to get going, so I wound her up to 59mph.

No more relaxing now. I had to get those guys off my bumper. I slowly pulled away, only to find that after about 2 or 3 miles I came upon a car going really slow. He was going 35 in a 50! I couldn't believe it. Pokey!!! (A pokey is defined as someone who is driving UNDER the speed limit). You need to realize that I was on a single lane road with double lines the whole way - no passing for miles.

Finally, I was able to get around the slow poke when the 2 lane road eventually went into 4 lanes. For a long while I was pulling away, when I noticed an upcoming traffic light turning red. And as usual, I was the first one at the light. (This happens all the time to me because I have this "first one at the red light" curse. It's hereditary.)

Guess who pulled up right behind me. The pokey!! Then I realized I was the hare, and he was the tortoise. Did you ever notice that when you pass someone and get a real good jump on them, that before long, a couple of traffic lights or stop signs later will nullify your lead and you will find them right behind you anyway? It's like the tortoise and the hare story. So maybe the tortoise has the right idea.

So why are we always too busy? Always in a hurry? Always stressed? Welcome to the United States of America! That's who we are. I wonder if we are the only country in the world so hyper. When I visited Africa a couple of years ago, the pace is totally different - slower. It was kind of nice! What everyone seems to lack here in the US is slow-down time - solitude time - quiet time.

I need to remind myself to slow down. That's why I have what's sort of my motto on the back window of my truck. Right behind the driver's seat, I have some vinyl lettering that says, "Matthew 13:1 NKJV". What that passage says is this........"On the same day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea."

If Jesus took time to get away and sit by the sea side, it's good enough for me. I love this passage so much that it's now sort of become my motto - my inspirational verse.  Time on the beach is my perfect solitude time. I have a four wheel drive truck with a surf fishing permit that allows me to drive on the beach in certain access areas 24/7, year round. I love the beach. There's just something special about the sight of the vast sea, the rhythm of the waves, and the smell of the sea air.

I've often wondered....what motivated Jesus to leave the house and sit by the sea side? But if you look at the events that lead up to it, in Matthew chapter 12, you can see why. Things were intense. He was being challenged by the Pharisees, was teaching, was performing miracles, and even had his mother and brothers waiting to confront Him. After all that, I'm sure He wanted time to get away, time to think, time to pray, and have some solitude time.

The moral of the your busy day-to-day life, take time to take a breather, even if for just a moment. Try to find a little solitude. Remind yourself about the image of Jesus sitting by the sea. Place yourself there, and inhale a deep breath of the fresh sea air through your schnozzola (that means your nose).

And work on some things that help you not be in a hurry - like getting  up a little earlier, like leaving you home a little early, like scheduling in some quiet time. Even try to drive the speed limit once in a while. Just don't be a pokey.

And remember, life is better when you're not in a hurry.


  1. Chip, You are completely correct about quiet time at the beach. I do it a lot and I can get my thoughts together and understand where my life is going. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. This entry was such a nice reminder! I know I am guilty of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of life.. Even in lower slower Delaware! This is a good reminder to take those moments thru the day to enjoy whatever scenery it is you have closest. Those are good moments to pray and take a deep breath to refresh ourselves and reflect on the Lord! Thank you Chip.