The Sweetness of Slowing Down
The Sweetness of Slowing Down
Iglanced at the clock while beating the eggs. Everything was on schedule for our summer brunch. The oven was pre-heated and dry ingredients sifted. I just needed to add the buttermilk, applesauce, and honey. I would set the table and change clothes while the muffins baked.
I reached into the cupboard for the honey. Panic struck. I forgot to buy honey!
Wiping my hands on my shirt, I left the counter and rushed to the store. Usually when I shop, I’m on a mission: get in the store, dodge the slow pokes, grab the goods, pay, and get out. This was that mission—on steroids.
I power-walked to the raw honey aisle only to find instant milk in its place. A clerk explained that the store was rearranged overnight, but the directories at the end of the aisles had not been updated. I dashed off as he assured me the honey was now in aisle seven.
But it wasn’t there.
I asked another guy in a store smock, stressing that I was in a hurry.
“Aisle three,” he said, confidently.
“I’ll find it myself,” I sputtered, dodging shoppers, racing down aisle four.
By the time I stormed aisle five, I should have been taking the muffins out of the oven.Halfway down aisle five stood a tall white-haired woman, clearly distraught, fingering the sleeve of her blue polyester dress. My heart felt drawn to her, but my watch reminded me of my mission—honey, muffins, change clothes, brunch.
“Are you okay?” I dared ask.
“The $200 contact lens from my surgery. It’s gone.”
“Keep moving,” I chided myself. But her need stopped me.
“I can’t see much without it,” she said.
I took a deep breath and skimmed her shoulders, sleeves, and dress. I double-checked her eye. No lens. I couldn’t leave her there helpless, but how could I find this woman’s contact lens on a filthy supermarket floor when I couldn’t even find a jar of honey on a shelf?
On hands and knees, I asked God to help me help this woman. And right there on the floor in front of me was the expensive clear contact lens. Awed by God’s immediate response, I picked up the lens and reached into my purse for the spare contact case and solution that I had stashed in there the day before.
As I turned to stand, there was the honey on the bottom shelf.
God slowed the pace of my self-made mission, redirected my path, and reminded me to make His mission mine. When we become hyper-focused on our own important plans, we can overlook what is important to God—in this case, helping others. In taking time to breathe and release our hurry, we can recognize and respond to our God-defined missions.
As it turns out, my summer brunch guests arrived late. The muffins were ready and perfect. And I have a memorable life-lesson to slow down and count on God to direct my steps.
God has much to say about His plans for us. Psalm 16:9 and James 4:13-15 are two good scriptures that reference these plans.
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