I was going to begin this blog with a cliche statement which goes a little something like, “I can’t believe it’s already March, where has all the time gone”... and while it is a fitting statement, because.. I honestly cannot comprehend the fact that its already March… the truth is, I realise why for the most part we always think time is never on our side. Maybe I’m mistaken and an invisible speed x2 button has been pressed on life and everything we are used to experiencing is happening at double the speed (which would honestly make sense… in a sci-fi movie) but because this isn’t The Terminator, it’s safe to say that everything is happening as it should; our days are as long as they were on the days we once thought time couldn’t move any slower, our hours are as many as they were on the days we couldn’t wait to end; minutes are still 60 seconds, days 24 hours and there are still 12 months in a calendar year.. which means the only thing that could be different is us, and how we spend that time; how we choose to move through our 12 calendar months our 24 hours and our 60 seconds… and my guess is that is, always looking to the next thing.
Okay so maybe I was wrong, and we are in a sci-fi movie, but one created by us, played by us, directed by us, produced by us, and we have pushed that invisible speed x2 button on ourselves, making it that we are no longer present in any moment, always two steps ahead of ourselves, always thinking about tomorrow and the day after that and the month after that, and the year after that; but never today, or now. Always tomorrow. So of course it would make sense that we have no idea where the time goes, cause we were never really present in that time anyway. As I say that, I’m reminded of the verse in Proverbs that says we can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps — I’m aware the verse in James that asks “how do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?” is actually probably better suited for this — but, I’m choosing the Proverbs verse because the word that sticks out to me the most there is steps, because that (to me anyway) comes across as something happening slowly. I mean, it’s a step right? He doesn’t determine our leaps and bounds, but steps, our one after the others, our day by days, our moment by moments, and yet there I was on February the 29th thinking about March the 13th and then thinking about April the 8th and just like that I was already planning Mother’s Day. For those who need reminding, it’s in May. Mother’s Day is in May. That’s 68 days that I have already rushed through, planning my plans and anxiously awaiting them that I am maybe, (probably), missing all the little steps that God wanted me to walk those 68 days, because again, we are always thinking about tomorrow, never today or now. And I get it, life doesn’t afford us the time to be still anymore, there is always something that needs getting done; there is always a task that needs to be accomplished and there is always that feeling that you need to constantly move ahead in order to grow and not be left behind. But I guess my point is, with our lives on speed x2, we only end up trying to do everything and be everywhere all at the same time.
…. Enter me being in over my head, and what this blog post is actually about. You see, It’s already March and I feel like I’ve been all over the place the past two months, with so many decisions to make and so many things I (thought I) was supposed to have figured out. And maybe I am being too hard on myself because really, it’s only March, but can you blame me will all these memes going around reminding us how much time has passed since the beginning of the year and asking us what we’ve done about it? It’s tew much. So naturally I’ve been feeling like I need to be on go, go go, catching up on all the things I have to do, crossing things off my to-do list etc, and while for the most part it’s been good because I have felt sort of accomplished, I came to the realisation this past week that I have in fact been rushing myself. This is not to say that the alternative is to dilly dally, and sit on all my goals and the things I want to achieve this year.. and do nothing; quite the contrary, what I mean is that I just realised that with everything I was trying to achieve, I was everywhere and nowhere all at the same time, which was actually counterproductive to what I was trying to achieve. I read somewhere that to achieve what you want you have to learn to slow down, but with that said, I for one know how hard it is to slow our brains down and escape the mental chatter that often diverts our attention away from being present in real time, but what I’m talking about is less about actually slowing down, and more about learning to embrace the smaller steps you take to achieving your goals. Which brings me back to the verse in Proverbs, because how lucky are we to actually have a God that wants to direct those steps, so that we aren’t left wondering about aimlessly or flailing about lost and confused, or just completely heading in the wrong direction. So that you truly know why you want to achieve the goals you have, and how best to do that. It’s amazing, and a few of us don’t actually take advantage of that when we are always trying to go to next.
In trying to work on my goals for this year, as promised in my last post, I’ve learnt that the why is especially important, because your goals shouldn’t be things just to be ticked off, or matched against someone else’s, they are (or at least we should want them to be) Gods things. That part — Gods things. In a conversation I was having with Gugu, she asked me if my goals were something I felt were placed in me by God, or something I simply just decided on — basically if they were Gods desires for me, or mine for myself. And realising that my desires should in fact be Gods things, is what brought me to a place of acknowledging that He is in control, not me. And we all know based on what we read in the bible that Gods things cannot be rushed.
So what’s the balance between chasing after your dreams, working hard to get them, putting in the effort and all that very necessary stuff, and allowing God to take control?
Pausing. Waiting. Listening. Slowing down.
I feel like we always wonder if God is speaking to us, or how He is speaking to us, and most importantly what He is saying.. but then proceed to have zero pause in between our wondering and our getting the answers. We move on to next so quickly as if the questions we have, have been asked and answered, when the reality is we didn’t actually even wait for the answer. I’m exhibit A, I will ask God so many questions but give Him no time to respond because I’m already on the next question about a completely unrelated topic to the first. And only when I’m too far gone, feeling like He is doing absolutely nothing about anything, do I circle back and realise I actually have no idea what He has been saying the whole time. Not because He hasn’t been saying anything, but because I haven’t been listening. And I already know this is not the right way to allow Him to move in my life and through my decisions, because my hurry cancels out whatever His action may have been. Not to say God isn’t able to do anything about it, He can override, reboot, and stall you to the point you are forced to be still, but hey, He also gave us free will and with that, choice, and if it is your choice to be in a hurry and never pause to hear what He wants your next to be, then that it will be.
And in my case, I realised my choice made me overlook certain things He wants me to address in myself and in my surroundings so that my goals can be achieved according to His will. And you’ll find that it’s often simple things, simple things like my tendency to overthink or my tendency to people please — imagine running a business, for e.g, with those as my go-to behaviours, I’d probably come across so many issues; self doubt would creep in, I may be taken advantage of, I may not place proper systems to run the business —who knows, but without pausing, waiting, listening and slowing down that He may direct me to that place, all I would think about is running the business and getting it off the ground quick, quick, now, now, missing the little steps I’d actually need to take in order to run that business successfully. Things like that. And so when I now look at my goals as a whole, I realise that I in fact do require that time move slowly, that I pause to hear the whispers of God, that I allow God to direct my one after the others, my day by days, my moment by moments.
We are a species that have been trained to view slow as something bad. That slow means incapability or incompetency, but Gods pace causes much less wear and tear than our pedal to the medal approach to our lives, so maybe let’s try that. My (new) goal is that instead of always looking at what I need to do next, busying my mind with activity after activity, goal after goal, I will take a minute (not to be taken literally) to check in with the director of my steps, so that at the very least I can give myself a break from feeling in over my head.