I cannot even believe this is the last Friday before the holiday season officially begins. Where did 2019 go? To be honest, I have just gotten used to writing the correct year when I have to write down a date! I know most of you feel the same way, that time has sped up somehow, making us feel almost breathless as we try to keep up.
I find myself trying to squeeze even more into a bulging calendar because I am afraid of missing something as it all goes speeding by. This is the opposite of what I should do to really make the moments last. I can’t do it all, and neither can you. This is an important reminder as we approach the busy holiday season and feel pulled in so many directions by what appear to be good things.
Besides the somewhat obvious solution of prioritizing activities, there is another way of slowing down time. It is called being present. In fact, during this time of almost frantic gift-giving, this could be the best present you give your loved ones and yourself this year. When we take a moment to bring ourselves into the now and really experience where we are, it can actually give us a sense of slowing time.
I suppose there are only three places we can be in our thoughts. We can be in the past, which could mean thinking about happy memories, or dwelling on negatives from our past. We can be in the future, which could mean goal setting, or needless fear of what might happen. Or we can be here now, doing this.
In the Bible, Jesus advised us to do the latter and not worry about tomorrow, “For tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34) If we are so caught up thinking about the unchangeable past or the unknown future, we are going to miss the now: the changing leaves on the trees; a baby’s smile; the way a hot cup of coffee tastes first thing in the morning; even the feel of a sweater on a crisp day.
We can slow down time, it just takes a little practice and effort. When you catch your mind spinning back to yesterday or fast forwarding to tomorrow, gently rein it back in by noticing what is in front of you now. And thank your Heavenly Father for the present.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life.” Matthew 6:25
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights Who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17