The other day I was driving down the street when a sign in front of a church caught my eye. It said, “Slow down. Your time will come.” It stuck with me. I’ve wondered what led someone to put that on their church’s sign. Was it a pun meaning that we should literally slow down as we drove by? Was it someone’s reaction to a bothersome parishioner who was impatient with how their life was progressing? Or was it a rather prescient insight into our lack of ability to enjoy the moment? Either way, I thought that there was some wisdom buried in that simple message.
When I first moved to Chicago I had a job hosting a lot of clients on behalf of our company there. It wasn’t the highest job on the local org chart, but it paid the rent, involved meeting thousands of new people each year, and it was a job that I could “turn off” at 5pm each evening that didn’t keep me up at night. It was a perfect job for someone new to the big city who wanted to meet people but not be worked to death. Yet for whatever reason, I spent most of my time in that job trying to get promoted out of it. Years later, I regretted not enjoying that job while I had it.
The same is sometimes true of our spiritual lives. We either live in the past or yearn for the future, taking today’s many blessings for granted. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 7:8 that,”patience is better than pride.” Pride leads us to believe that we should deserve something bigger; patience allows us to enjoy the present. To enjoy today requires we be present, mentally and emotionally, in the here-and-now.
How about this for a different spiritual challenge? Today, let’s have fun and enjoy our jobs.
Oh, and while this has nothing to do with the post, I thought it was pretty funny.