Slowing Down

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The past two weeks have been so busy. Running a hundred miles an hour while baking and decorating and working and mothering and the beat goes on. All you busy moms know what I’m talking about.

In fact, last week I almost ran someone off the road. Totally my fault. It was after my son’s holiday shop at school and I was driving us home. When I began to merge into the right lane, I heard a horn. There was a car and I didn’t see it!

Oh, I was mortified. And embarrassed. So I slowed down to let the vehicle pass. And I graciously accepted the indignant driver’s gestures and her look of scorn.

Then I apologized to my son. I told him I put us in harm’s way and I was sorry.

And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20

I would have chalked the incident up to busyness and fatigue if the rest of last week hadn’t happened. But now, I think God’s telling me something more…

First, the book I’m reading described a near collision. One driver ran a stop sign while another had to slam on her brakes and blow the horn. The offended driver was indignant as she yelled, “Didn’t she see me?!”

Then the following day, same thing happened to me. For I was overlooked. Unseen. Not just once, but twice.

I patiently waited at the photo center while the clerk threw her scissors down and exclaimed, “Damn it!” And as one minute turned to two, another customer joined me standing to my right rear. The line had formed, and I was in front.

When the clerk approached, though, she looked through  me into the eyes of the woman behind me. She made second first as she said, “Can I help you?”

I felt a bit indignant as I raised my hand. “Hello,” I called out, indicating my presence.

Funny thing is, the incident repeated an hour later when I entered the doctor’s office. I patiently stood a few feet behind the counter as the receptionist finished up a phone call. We smiled as we made eye contact and I waited some more. Then a man entered and stood to my right rear. Just like at the photo center.

However, the receptionist looked beyond me to him as she hung up. “Can I help you,” she said. I swear it was like I was invisible. Like she couldn’t even see me.

And I confess, I felt angry. Indignant. My insides cried out, “Can’t you see me?” Probably like the woman I nearly ran off the highway.

“Didn’t you see me?”

Thus, a pattern emerges. The clerk at the photo booth was so busy she couldn’t see straight. I was so busy in my thoughts I couldn’t see a car! Obviously, our lives are much too cluttered. Life full to the brim with distraction.

But today, at Christmas time, I comprehend what God’s been saying to me this past week. And it’s not just about my hectic schedule. No, it’s more about what I see.

Or don’t see.

He softly calls out…

“Pam, I’m right here. I’ve been standing here all along. Don’t you see me?” 

Sadly, I’d have to say no.

I’d have to answer my Lord that I didn’t see Him. Because truth is I’ve been much too busy and distracted by a hundred things. Baking and decorating and working and mothering. All you busy moms know what I’m talking about.

But you know what?

I’ve been put on pause. My son’s fever did that. Slowed down by sickness and I’m thankful for the speed bump. Because it’s allowed me to readjust my eyes… and my heart. And since I’ve had some time to refocus, I can see clearly now.

For I can see Him.

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Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. Exodus 14:13

With all my soul, I wish I could say God’s only message to me this day is about busyness and slowing down. But in truth there’s an underlying issue.

It has to do with my pride… and about being first. And acknowledgement. It all came to a head last night when my true heart appeared. When I felt mad with my husband, Jason.

I’d been working so hard and doing so much and he simply made a comment about something that was undone. Oh, I was hot. I simmered and stewed as my insides cried out,

“Don’t you see all I’ve done??”

I know. A bit dramatic. But I was looking for recognition. Appreciation. And when it wasn’t forthcoming, I felt a bit put out.

In the still of the night, though, my near collision came to mind. Because truth is I felt pretty good that day. Well, before my mishap, I did. For someone paid me a compliment earlier in the day.

I was acknowledged for something I did.

Truth? I liked it. And I reveled in her words. And so, it’s fitting I almost collided with someone three short hours later. Because my near collision brought me down a peg or two. High to low in a split second.

And so (big sigh), I know my pride has been driving me. Still. And my pride causes me to drive much too fast. But God has a word for me today about my driving skills.

He tells me to slow down. Because when I drive too fast, I just can’t see. At least not what He wants me to see…

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