Perhaps it was church today…
…or the fog in my head…
…or the insane amount of Ny-Quil consumed over the past four days.
Everything revolved around the same realization:
Sometimes you just need to slow down.
After my trip to Los Angeles I quickly turned around and jetted out to north central Missouri for my monthly business trip out there. Afterwards, come Wednesday evening I was sniffling, sneezing, and by Thursday morning I was on the phone with my supervisor explaining that there was no safe way that I’d be heading to work that day [note: a fever does not mix well with a job in the food industry, just saying]. At that point I contacted my girlfriend, letting her know I wasn’t leaving my bed, and went back to sleep.
I came to realize very quickly that one of the biggest struggles with being sick is rescheduling everything that is going on for the. Soccer practice, vehicle estimates, everything had to be regrouped for a future date. Not pleasant. Through Thursday I slept, and slept, and slept. I felt my fever break [an unfortunate but needed experience], and some of the people at MoVal were kind enough to send some warm dinner my way [absolutely fantastic by the way!]
Friday I woke up shaking an dizzy, head fully congested with who-knows-what, but this much I did know.
I had to get moving.
Hot shower, box of tissues, and plenty of water and I made my way to downtown Kansas City. I spent the morning working the stores I have in the financial district, and by 4:00 PM CST I was on my way to the University of Kansas. I had made mention months ago that occasionally I write for Our Game Magazine when there is a college match in the area worth noting. This week happened to have nationally ranked Oklahoma State taking on Kansas. By 5:00 PM CST I was sat in the media tent in the gorgeous weather match tracking the event online, and by 8:45 PM CST I had journeyed ninety minutes back north to my apartment.
When I stepped in [as you can imagine from the sickness and running around I was dead to world] my girlfriend was in the kitchen. She had made me apricot chicken and a fantastic dessert. I was warm, fed, and absolutely blessed. I was out within twenty minutes and did not wake up again until Saturday morning around 10:00 AM CST.
By 11:00 AM CST I had found myself back out into the soccer complex in the city, cheering on Peeps Soccer [U8] and still being in an absolute fog. By noon, after snacks and the kids left I was in my stores running around, making up lost time.
Saturday night brought about a nice pleasure of being with my girlfriend and MC and Jim at their house; relaxing outside around the fire. The world stopped, and I finally breathed [ish]. After we said our goodbyes [can you believe I hadn’t been back there in three weeks!?!] we made our way back to the city, and I crashed as long as I could until church Sunday morning.
I was even given the option of not going to Sunday School, but at 9:00 AM CST I felt like I’d cheat God if I missed it [since being in LA last weekend]. I went, again mind foggy and completely spaced out]. I made it through Sunday School, yawning like a fool, and stumbled through church.
Finally this is where life started to slow down.
First, I met Kyle. Kyle is a unique new individual into MoVal and quickly, my own story. Kyle is about my age, just relocated back up to the area after his wife left him with absolutely nothing [sound familiar]? He’s been broke, broken, and just trying to find his way in life again. Perfect setup. We’re hanging out and eating lunch here in a week from now. Just to find our common ground on such a chaotic life.
During the sermon, our pastor was speaking on the Gospel Project, and today was emphasizing the importance of taking time to see what God has created around us [not to be mistaken with God being in nature around us…]. His biggest point, to which my girlfriend and I both looked at each other, was his exclamation of importance for people to slow down. We’re so busy to get to the ‘next goal’ that we refuse to enjoy what is happening before us. With our eye contact, we knew that something had to change. We both needed to slow down.
It became even more apparent to me while I was getting ready to type up this message. I’m sitting at a table in Starbucks; I’ve got my laptop, two cell phones, and my tablet all before me. Schedules synchronized, I never miss a beat. Between Subway and the Shock, literally I can’t afford to, and here’s the terrifying part: I don’t even have children. Those of you who have children, you know that right now you’re moving 24/7 between school, practice, recitals, work, and occasionally you get to eat food.
We are in a dangerous rat race, and this very much includes myself as being part of the guilty party.
While I was out in Los Angeles, one of the more startling things that I noted while out there was how tired everyone looked. I didn’t see the plastic surgery, cakes of makeup, and the fresh ink that I had assumed would be visible. I saw tired faces, worn out bodies, it was evident that people along the fast paced coast lines are finally wearing out from the daily chaos.
Why would I want to wind up like that?
Here’s the current challenge I face: When I’m not sick, I love going 100mph non-stop. In many ways it is an absolute rush for me. I’m young, healthy [most of the time], and desire to be productive. I love the passion I have with soccer and the Kansas City Shock, and I’m extremely blessed with my position at Subway. My girlfriend stays with me toe-for-toe, and we’re constantly on the move. While our culture says this is all expected for the age range of the two of us; is it wise in a Biblical aspect? Many times I fear slowing down and not doing something because, reality is I revert back to those dark days a few years ago when I was a sluggard, lethargic, and in many ways worthless. I’m not here to say that stopping for a few seconds is going to place me back into that mindset, it still makes me fearful of what it could lead to. Does that make sense?
I’m trying to figure it out. My store list ends this week, a few days to relax. I’ve got a meeting with our head coach tomorrow afternoon after my session in court down south [again, not about me, just to clarify]. My girlfriend and I are starting a new competition to improve not just our health, but also our budgets. We both have confessed to being a bit loose in the pockets as of late, and we’re trying to adjust before that becomes an issue. So, while we’re both trying to slow down a bit, we have started to find more common ground in the kitchen of the apartment. We’re seemingly cooking something in there frequently [or at least eating], and I think it is going to assist us in working together financially and health wise. I’m big on health, she’s big on finances and I believe we’ve found common ground.
I think it is evident through these past few days that God has easily been showing me that I have to slow down eventually. It’s vital for heath; mentally, physically, and spiritually. While I tend to want to buck the trend, this is a moment where I have to acknowledge that while God has blessed me with the ability to get things done, He also expects me to take time away and just focus on peace; most importantly, focus on Him.
Who knew that relaxing and taking time away from running around could require so much effort?
I’m getting there.
As for now though, it’s 10:30 PM CST and I’m finally feeling good. I have to depart from the apartment at 5:30 AM CST, so I need to get some much needed rest and prepare for another crazy day.
He’s so, so good; I can’t even express how wonderful God is. Nothing in this life do I deserve, and through it; I’m determined to let it be known that it is His.