Just over a year ago when we were sent home to work remotely, when stores and restaurants began to close, and we were forced to stay home, I remember sitting on my back patio with excitement and almost a child-like giddiness thinking “I prayed for this!”
To be clear, I did not pray for a disease or pandemic but I did pray for the world to pause. In fact, it is a prayer I had been praying for most of my adult life in some way or another. My prayer – to pause the world so I could catch up.
Catch up on work, emails, and a very long to do list. Catch up on household projects. Catch up on reading – books, the pile on my desk, my devotional. Catch up on calls, reaching out to friends. To simply catch my breath, have time to have a clear thought…..or dream….or idea and be able to sit with it.
The key to my prayer, however, was the pause. Everyone in the world or at least in my immediate world needed to pause or ‘be paused’ because I could not catch up if…
…my children still needed help with homework/school projects
…my email continued to fill my inbox
…deadlines continued to draw closer
…the ding of my text messages continued to ring out the urgency of everyone in my life.
Then it happened….worked slowed, things stopped, activities were cancelled. Eliminate the commute time, the traffic, trips to the grocery store, after-school activities, meetings, and we were left with the basics – we were left with time. It forced us to confront our pace and how we use this precious commodity of time.
We are all given the same amount of time each and every day – 24 hours – no more, no less – so it is up to us to prioritize and to rethink what is most important.
For my family this pause brought about family walks, more meals around the table together, deeper conversations and a noticeably slower pace. As our world continues to reopen, what do we want our pace to be? what is most important?
We have an opportunity to live life to the fullest – not the fullest calendar – but an abundant life. The life Jesus spoke of in John 10:10 – a rich and satisfying life. It is not having more, or doing more, in fact the word MORE isn’t even a part of it. Jesus was busy. He had quite a few demands on his life, requests from others, expectations of others. But it is how He handled those demands, how He balanced them with meals and time with His closest friends, how He went away to be quiet and alone, to speak to His Father. It is how He made time for rest over worry that we can learn from.
We have received a powerful opportunity to reset. A chance to adjust the rhythms of our lives. To catch a glimpse of the Jesus life. I saw and experienced that ‘an abundant life’ was not some grand life change, (though it could be for someone else) but a new pace. Slowing enough to see the precious moments when they arrive, to be more intentional with our time, to leave some space for what could be.
I encourage you to focus on making small adjustments, the little tweaks in your day and week that will bring you closer to your rich and satisfying life…the life Jesus spoke of…your abundant life. Know too, that Altar Fly Fishing has designed a ministry of retreats and coaching focused on helping people merge the demands of life, career, and leadership with their core values and desire for an ‘abundant’ but not frenetic life. As you reflect, reach out and learn more about how Altar can partner with you in this important life-change.
What was the PACE of your day? Your week? Think of a word that would best describe it.
Consider these questions…
- did you have time this morning to enjoy your cup of coffee?
- was there margin in between your doing, a bit of space to breathe as you moved to what was next on your schedule?
- did you eat your lunch or dinner at the table? With others? Or did you eat while standing, working, driving? Perhaps you forgot to eat?
- did you have a meaningful conversation with someone today?
- did you have time to pray?
- did you spend any time outside today?
What small adjustments can you make in your day to slow your PACE and to eliminate the unnecessary?
What does your abundant life look like? What will do you to get there?