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September 18, 2014

Hurry Up and Slow Down

Image: Flickr/Nikos Koutoulas

Image: Flickr/Nikos Koutoulas

“One of the great illusions of our time is that hurrying will buy us more time.” (John Ortberg)

It never fails: when you’re in a hurry at the grocery store, the person in front of you wants to pay for all her stuff with coupons and a two-party, out-of-state check with no ID. No one likes to wait. We’ve got places to go and things to do. Come on! Let’s go! Hurry up!

The strange reality of our universe is that hurrying up actually slows us down. It’s not just true with cashiers and bank tellers and cars at stop lights, it’s true with our kids as well. Have you ever noticed that when you are in a hurry to get out of the house with your children, something always happens to slow things down? It’s as if the more you hurry, the slower they get.

Maybe it’s because hurrying is kind of a needy thing to do. It’s a symptom of impatience and anxiety. In a sense, it’s a form of weakness, and kids can always spot our weakness from a mile away.

When you hurry, you aren’t creating more time. You’re missing out on the only time that’s truly yours — right now. Working yourself and your kids into a frenzy just for a couple of extra minutes isn’t really getting you anywhere. Plan ahead. Give yourself some margin. Then enjoy yourself along the way.

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