It's cold out these days, so when I walk outside, I walk fast. When it's raining, I run through the rain. When I'm in my car, I always drive over the speed limit. I always go through drive-thrus. And when I'm at work on Sundays, wearing my headset, I walk quickly around the sanctuary, convinced by the necessity of my efficiency, and all the while I can't stop moving long enough to see or hear or feel what God might actually be doing. And what's worse is that people can see me speed-walking.
Something clicked for me a few weeks ago when I was at a restaurant, and the place was hopping. Our waiter frantically ran up to the table to take our orders. He was sincere in his apology, and seemed nice enough, but I felt a little anxious when he left. And then it dawned on me that his frenetic pace was trumping his words or his sincerity. He brought his anxiousness to the table. And it made me think of my own hurriedness.
When I run around, what does it communicate to those around me? How does it make them feel? Do I always seem rushed -- like I can't spare a second to talk, or that something horribly urgent must be going on? Do I walk around looking stressed? I'm afraid I've probably come across that way more often than I'd like.
I've realized that my pace isn't helping me get things done quicker. It's not helping me do more, or be more, or add more. It's mostly just making me more anxious, more impatient, and probably rubbing off and affecting those around me.
And here's the thing: I like the way cold brisk air feels on my face. As long as it's not raining, I don't mind a walk in the cold. Second, Mythbusters has pretty much has proved that running in the rain actually gets you wetter. And, If I speed on my way home from work, I can literally only save 60-120 seconds of my day.
I've become more conscious of how I walk and carry myself in these moments, and have chosen to intentionally slow myself down. And so, I'm choosing to walk, not run, wherever I go. Including Sundays.