After the Running, the Lullaby

"Hurry and impatience are sure marks of an amateur."

Ann quotes Evelyn Underhill, and I think of my favorite unhurried moments right off... the slow tracing of fingers on a face and arm, the slow lullaby singing to my Eldest just a few nights ago ("Will you sing to me, Mommy?" that 13-year-old asked like a child), the slow mornings and evenings of sitting on my girls' sled and just sipping tea.

I like slow.

I like fast too. I admit a certain thrill to riding through the woods on horseback (oh, that was long, long ago). A thrill to meeting deadlines. The joy of racing around the block (My lullaby-girl likes to dare me, "Run, I'll beat you!" And, long-legged, younger, she always does.)

Suddenly curious, I look up the word deadline. I know what it means, of course. But I want the roots. The formerly-meant meaning.

A boundary around a military prison beyond which a prisoner could not venture without risk of being shot by the guards.

I think about this. When does fast mean death to me, the kind of death Ann hopes to save us from? Is it fast itself that's the problem? Maybe the formerly-meant meaning of the word deadline holds the answer (the questions?)...

Am I a prisoner to my deadlines? Have I surrounded myself with unforgiving guards? Am I myself sometimes the unforgiving guard?

God is the first guard, and He is forgiving. He gave us work, he did. I don't know that he minds fast. But he gave us Sabbath too. Permission to rest. After the running comes the lullaby, the tracing, and tea sipped glory-slow.

Or, like Ann says it, Suds...all color in sun.

Quotes from Chapter 4 of the beautiful book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

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Blogger Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Suddenly, I'm ok with the fact that I'm the last one across the finish line, the last one out of the church on Sunday (just like my mama), the last one up this Sabbath morning ...

Permission to go slow, yes. Life is NOT an emergency.

Blogger Abby said...

I loved the singing a lullaby part especially, for many reasons. this is the chapter that I am reading now...

Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

Deep. Sigh.

Blogger Christi said...

Slow, yes. And more peace, more enjoyment, more love.

Anonymous Lynda said...

Thank you for putting these words together.I like that God may not mind "fast", but that He also gives us the Sabbath! Our family doesn't live a purposed day of rest, and I can sense my heart being moved by my Father in this.
Bless you.

Blogger Nancy said...

Chapter 4 is my favorite.
Ring true,

Anonymous Beth Werner Lee said...

Yeah, I was the slow kid, always being rushed by mama. But now I understand, and rush my kidlet. Try not to, and sometimes I am ahead enough to prepare her early...

Anonymous Liberty said...

Wish I'd read this encouragement this morning...

OpenID thesavingmomparents said...

I am so here this year. I have always had to be the first one. Rushing to be on time (which for me was at least 15 minutes early). I have pushed, prodded and forced many around me to fall into my standards, but this year I am making a change. I am settling into His timing, His deadlines, instead of mine. I am finding refreshment in letting Him determine THE WHEN. Sometimes things will happen quickly and sometimes I will be drifting down the river in my canoe for a while. And it will be good.
Love your writing!


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