Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When Less is More

Several years ago before toddlers and princesses ran circles through our lives, Josh and I visited the lovely city of Paris.  Some Americans give Paris a negative recommendation, but I must tell you that I absolutely LOVED our 4 days in that glorious city.  The food, the majestic buildings, the quaint cafes, the beautiful art…it was all food for my soul and I still remember it with stars in my eyes.

One afternoon we sat at an outdoor café to catch our breath after a morning of sightseeing and museum visiting.  We sat down and promptly gobbled up half of our crepes without taking even  the slightest breath to take in the moment.  We were on a mission to EAT…because we live our lives ALWAYS ON A MISSION! 

And then the unexpected occurred.  It was as if we both stopped at the same time, took a deep breath and realized where we were.  I looked at Josh and said…”Do you realize we are in Paris!  And we don’t have to eat like Americans…WHAT IF, we actually slow down and enjoy this moment outdoors in a Parisian Cafe?!”

Josh looked up and agreed that we should stop to savor the moment, and after slowly eating not just our lunch crepe but a couple of dessert crepes and cup after cup of coffee, we started to talk about what life might be like back home if we lived a bit slower.  It felt like we were merely fantasizing.  After all, life is BUSY.  Life is fast-paced.  What if we slowed down and missed out on something?  

And yet at the same time…look at all we would have missed out on had we not slowed down to enjoy that meal…to enjoy the next couple of days in Paris?!

We returned home with a passion to slow down and savor this gift (life) that has been handed to us by God.  And slowing down is a STRUGGLE.  It is hard to balance because we both believe in working hard.  We believe that we are to be good stewards with our lives and to make the most of every day.  But those beliefs don't actually conflict at the core with a more intentional life that savors moments.  You can work hard and still look up to see beauty in the ordinary.  And the best way to make the most of today is to actually SEE today... to live it as fully as possible with focus and trust in the One who granted you today.  

The actual struggle is that the desire to slow down does not line up with lies fed to us by culture.  You know the ones that say worth is equivalent to how busy you are...the lies about needing more...more stuff, more time, more meaning.

Faster is not always better.

More is not always more.

And so, I have asked the Lord to help me to slow down, to love more deeply and to live more intentionally.  Moments like tree swings and bowls of glorious cherries are shining reminders in the midst of the day that He has heard my prayers.

Today, I pray that you live well but that you also have a Parisian moment to savor your gift of life today!  Because so often less really is more.


Unknown said...

This is truth. He has been and continues to teach me the same.

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