This mantra seems counterintuitive, especially since there are only 19 days until Christmas. Yet, it hit me during a recent time of stillness.
It also reminded me of a book I’d read years ago, “Be Quick—But Don’t Hurry!” by Andrew Hill with John Wooden.
I can hear you now, gasping for air because there is SO MUCH TO DO. Relax. Breathe. Slow down. You’ll get more accomplished.
How many times have you been rushing and set the car keys down, only to forget where you put them? Or, you had your cell phone just a minute ago, where is it now?
In our haste to hurry or speed up, we waste precious time.
This also happens to me when I don’t do a simple task (taking 5 minutes or less) in the moment that it shows up. I’ll spend more time thinking about it than if I had just done it immediately. I’m practicing the “Do It Now” principle. (Fold the laundry, sort the mail, write the thank you, etc.)
I’ve also been distracted in the kitchen when measuring an ingredient, hurried, then wondered if I’d measured correctly. UGH!
Need I go on?
The more we hurry, the more stress and anxiety we experience. The result is poor sleep, hormone imbalances, a lack of energy, frustration, cold or flu, and sometimes—a few extra pounds.
Slow down. Spend a few moments in quiet solitude each day. You will be calmer; you will have more clarity about what is most important; you won’t appear crazy, even if you have doubts on occasion. (We all do.)
You will experience more joy and fulfillment because you are taking the time to enjoy each moment. This goes for the decorating, choosing that special gift for each person on your list, and even eating your favorite holiday treats.
The season of Advent, these four weeks leading up to Christmas, is a time of waiting. We wait with hope for Christ’s coming. Children wait impatiently for Santa to deliver the goods. Adults can’t wait until it’s over. ‘Tis the season!
Take a few extra minutes today and slow down. Be quick in knowing what it is you need to be attentive to, then methodically go about getting it done–But don’t hurry.
Make your plan. Work your plan. Have fun, doing the best you can.
“Keep calm and enjoy Christmas.”