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When Stephanie was five, I found her sitting in the timeout chair. Steph spent quite a bit of time in the timeout chair, so I was surprised to find her sitting there by her own choice. It was a place she refused with much gusto multiple times a day.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"Sitting in timeout," she said.
"I didn't ask you to go to timeout."
"I know," she said.
I considered walking away from the conversation. Perhaps if she enjoyed sitting in the timeout chair it would make it easier in the future. Still, I pressed her a little more. "So why are you sitting in timeout? Did you do something to get a timeout?"
"Not yet," she said in a matter-of-fact voice. "But I don't have anything to do right now so I thought I'd sit in timeout so I'm covered for later."
Much like daylight, timeout minutes aren't really something you can stockpile.
Although the idea of saving daylight or banking timeout minutes seems appealing, it isn't realistic. I've realized I waste a lot of time trying to figure out how to stockpile other things that are appealing, but also unrealistic. Happiness. Peace. Hope. One of the main things I try to save is time. I want to be efficient with my time. I have a lot of things I want to do, so if I can save time, I can get them done.
I'm exhausted when I rush through a day. I don't think humans were made to rush. We weren't created to do everything and more. It's like I think if I rush through the day piling more and more into it that I will be able to achieve something I couldn't attain otherwise. Then I try to catch up on sleep or laundry or email and it just doesn't work.
I think God sees this as ludicrous as stockpiling daylight and timeout minutes.
It's time to slow down. This is not to be confused with idleness or laziness. It's simply a reminder that I don't have to do it all. Especially as a child of God, my strength comes from the Lord. He created the hours in the day, he created sleep, and he created me. Logically, I have plenty of time to accomplish all that I am made to do and not rush.
Even better, when I chose to slow down and wait, I get fresh strength. There is strength in slowing down. There is power in relaxing. Just because I slow down doesn't mean I will lag behind. Isaiah 40:31 (The Message) says:
Those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind.
Maybe Steph was on to something after all. Imagine what a better world it would be if we each put ourselves in the timeout chair. Not because we needed the consequence, but because we need the strength. What if we slow down and instead of lagging behind, we soar? Imagine a world filled with people soaring -- people filled with energy because they weren't exhausted from rushing. And it all begins with slowing down.