This very question is often posed by my husband when we are running errands on Saturday afternoon. The point of the question isn't to determine how much we can fit into one day or what the schedule holds. Quite the contrary, the question is an invitation to slow down, to not drive aggressively, to embody patience.
Patience is a virtue that doesn't come naturally to me. Unlike the men who are sauntering in this photo taken in Paris while on sabbatical five years ago, I walk at a pace that often leaves blisters on my feet rather than allowing my soles to feel the cushion beneath them. My DISC personality profile points to a person who can sometimes be experienced as a whirlwind as I seek to accomplish a certain amount of work each day.
And then Friday comes.
And I'm faced with the choice to choose sabbath, rest and re-creation or keep going, multi-tasking, checking my email, running full speed ahead.
Which choice do you make most often?
Do you seek to hear the voice that beckons with an invitation to stop and trust that enough has been done for this week? Or do you feel guilty if you don't keep working, keep responding, keep producing?
Jesus extends the invitation, "Come away with me. Let us go alone to a quiet place and rest for a while." We hear the words and start to remember that keeping the sabbath holy is one of the Ten Commandments, on par with truth-telling and not murdering. Is reading the words enough to get you to stop? Do you have enough trust that everything will be okay without you--for just a bit?
A sidewalk artist gave a gift to our neighborhood at the start of this week. "Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience" are the words that greeted me Monday morning on a foot bridge that leads me to the gym. The invitation was there again on Tuesday and once more today since rain has not fallen this week.
I wonder how many people have slowed down, greeted their neighbors passing by, even stopped to smell a rose or two, as a result of this artist's offering?
What if this artwork is meant to be a means of grace, a way God comes to us -- entering the ordinariness of life and making it extraordinary?
I wonder what might happen if I adopted nature's pace, sauntered a bit, refused to check my email again until Sunday and trusted that everything will, indeed, be okay?
How might God be trying to get your attention today--whatever road you travel?