This past week, I was reminded of our years in Jamaica where I had to unlearn my lifestyle of rush in the US. Was it difficult? Yes. When we moved to Jamaica, we had only been married a little over a year and survived the stillbirth of our first daughter. But our lives were rushed. We didn’t take much time to be quiet…or even be slow.Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; Psalm 37:7 Click To Tweet
Well, I should speak for myself on that one. My husband was much more of a plodder in the way he went about living. Another way to describe him was slow and deliberate. He never rushed or allowed others to decide his agenda. He seemed quiet in a large group, but he was not shy. He knew what he was doing and where he was going. stop
So living in Jamaica was a harder adjustment for me, specifically. People don’t like to be on time according to US standards…a 7 PM event to them often meant leaving home at 7…or later. Once I took off my watch (for 1 1/2 years!) I did fine.
Rushing shows we are functionally task-oriented. Being people-oriented will slow us down as we take the time to deal with one person at a time because people are the most important thing!
A friend who lived next door to us our first couple of years there (Walford Thompson) told me to remember that Jamaica was a people-oriented culture as opposed to our US culture that was more task-oriented. Once I paid attention to that, I began to appreciate the difference. I also found it difficult to fit into the US after that as well!
In the end, people are the most important thing. There was always time to greet each other. Even if a person was late to church, they would stop and greet others on the way in. There was always time to love on and appreciate children. Life was never too busy for that. There was always time to stop and visit and be hospitable.This past week, I was reminded of our years in Jamaica where I had to unlearn my lifestyle of rush in the US. Was it difficult? Yes. Once I took off my watch (for 1 1/2 years!) I did fine. Click To Tweet
Rushing or telling others how busy I am, doesn’t really do anything to build bridges to them. It may be true that I am busy. If so, I may need to start learning to say the word, “NO.” When others come to ask me to commit to jobs, I have a stall technique I use most of the time. “I need to check with my husband or I need to look at my calendar”…or even “I’ll get back to you.”
This stall technique has saved me from impulsively saying, “Yes.” to things I knew I didn’t want to do or people I didn’t have the guts to say, “No.” to. We need to volunteer and minister to others. We can’t be totally self-centered. But we need to leave space for quietness and peace.
We all need time that is unrushed, quiet and peaceful. Some of us need more of it than others of us and some need more of it at different stages of their lives than others.
When we are scared, overwhelmed or brokenhearted, we especially need time alone and unrushed: to think, pray, process and meditate on:
- What GOD is doing during this hard time,
- Ask Him how He wants to change me,
- Ask Him how He wants me to see what is going on in my life.
Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.