Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Life is Not an Emergency

Yesterday I ran late all day long. I hate being late. I mean really hate it. I blame it on my dad. He was not going to let living with 3 girls make him late. He would threaten to leave us if we weren't ready by the appointed time - and he wasn't kidding. We were never late to church, parties, school, anything. My sister and I laugh that we now have to make ourselves sit at home for a while before a party so we won't be the first ones to arrive. When I'm late for things my insides start knotting up and I feel anxious. I lose all perspective and must get to my destination. Even when we're traveling I want to try to beat the time it took us to drive it last time. It makes no sense, but that is the way it is. Okay, I won't blame all of that on my dad. Most of it comes from my need to be in control of every situation in my life.

Sometimes my lateness is caused by other people and I offer very little grace. Just ask Taylor how I reacted to the missing booster seat Tuesday morning that began my day of running late. However, more often my lateness is the result of striving for increased productivity. I'm a doer. Give me a schedule and a to-do list and I will get it done - all of it. So if I can just get a load of laundry washed and in the dryer before we head out the door I'll be so much more ahead when I get home. If I can just get those breakfast dishes cleaned up before we leave then I'll be...what?

That's the question I started asking myself yesterday as my list sat next to me on the passenger's seat and I rushed from here to there: Ahead for what? Rushing to what? Ann'swords kept echoing in my head, "Life is not an emergency." My list has at least showed me the need to stop rushing if it hasn't actually produced the change in me yet. When I'm in a hurry I don't write as many gifts down. I don't see them.

Even after I had reflected on all this yesterday I found myself standing at the door yelling, "Hurry up, John Curtis! I'm leaving NOW!" What was the rush? A lasagna dinner and outreach workshop at church which I arrived at with ample time to just stand around and talk before it ever started. I must unlearn these rushed habits.

"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." Ann Voskamp

62. Choosing thankfulness when you don't feel thankful - Phil 4:4
63. Running behind
64. Children's books
65. Rubber snakes stuck down in the couch
66. Tumbleweeds
67. New P.J.s
68. Cuddle time
69. My husband forgetting we don't give Valentine gifts

70. Listening to Sophie say her memory verse

71. Snuggling on the couch

72. Clean laundry (It was on my to-do list)


Single Girl in TX said...
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Lindsey said...

Wise words for the other control freak/never late child in our family! I totally blame Dad too. :) And I guess I need to read this book!

Grammy said...

Oh, my gosh! I was late today!! It threw me off, then I thought, I have a choice here. I can melt down and obsess about this, or I can take a breath and be thankful I have a forgiving job to get to. It was a good day.
Dad says it is all PaPaw's fault.