I am altogether too often guilty of choosing Busy in my Soul (and Busy in my Life) so I can comfort myself with a bit of Numb.

The distractions keep me from feeling all the stuff that threatens to drown me.

(And.  Some days, some moments, there is just So Much Stuff.)

What is it all anyway?

Why is it so easy to forget what I believe?

To push aside what I know to be true?

To look at the hill in front of me and to see a mountain I think I’ll never cross?

To forget where I’ve been and what I’ve become?

To forget that my legs are strong and my heart is steady and my God is true?

I’ve been reading through a book with a group of friends and we meet together each week to talk about the book and about our responses to what we’re reading and to what we are learning about ourselves.

The book title is a little over the top for me – it’s true.  But the last chapter I read – chapter 5, if you pick the book up yourself one day – had me all looking into a mirror and walking away with a myriad of feelings.

The book  – because now you want to know – is called The Life You’ve Always Wanted.  The tagline says “spiritual disciplines for ordinary people” and I think that’s pretty spot on.  It is very practical and not too full of high ideals, but more filled with seeing yourself and the habits you’ve created and then choosing to break those habits.

The chapter that we worked through this week was about living an unhurried life.

There’s too much going on inside my hurried brain to unwrap the entire concept right now, but when I read the chapter I was certain the author had been following me around, watching my life and jotting down notes and then just writing this chapter about what he saw me doing Every Single Day.

At one point there was a question, “How do you know if you suffer from hurry sickness?  Let’s do a brief diagnostic.”

Dude.  I failed that test.

Or, rather, I aced that test.

Point after point after point.  Yes, the description was All Me.

Standing in the grocery store check out line, seriously weighing which line will be the faster one and keeping track of who was in the line and where I would have been had I chosen the other line and if that person makes it out before me, then I lost.  Driving down the road and switching lanes and seeing if I made the right choice to stay in the correct lane.  Ending nearly every day of my life wishing for more hours in the day to just get the things done that I was not able to get done.  Always feeling like I have not finished enough of my tasks.  Stacking books up by my bedside and feeling guilty for never finishing them.  Multi-tasking to the extreme.  A giant planner with all the lists.  Saying yes to big things but not following through.  Rushing through end-of-day routines (like bedtime tuck-ins) and not even knowing why.

You guys.

It’s a problem.

Two quotes really struck me and have been sitting a little heavy on my chest since I read them this week.

“Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible.  Love always takes time, and time is one thing hurried people don’t have.”

And it’s not just a busy life.  A busy life is not a sin.  It’s a busy heart.  Like – a disordered heart.  A heart without rest.  You can be busy.  Your schedule can be full.  You can do the next thing, but I sincerely believe that you can do that next thing in a purposeful manner with love and not with hurry.  (Or at least, I’m hoping that is possible.)

The chapter has given me a lot to think about.  A lot to be mindful of.  A lot of which I was not previously precisely aware.

And this one last quote to leave here and let it sit with you, as it has sat with me …..

“For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith.  It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it.  We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them.”

I’m willing to fight against mediocrity.   That’s a battle worth showing up for.