My first job after graduating consisted of promotional work across the then-Transvaal province of South Africa. It was a huge area, and I was eager to prove myself -- in my first month I drove more than 10,000 kilometres! I quickly learned to plan my trips better, but my driving pattern was set for life: you drive to get to where you want to be, no dawdling along the way. If the speed limit is 120 kilometres per hour, I drive at 120 km/h; if it's 80, I go at 80; if it's 60, I go at 60, a philosophy that served me well for decades, but lately I've started questioning it. It makes perfect sense on the concrete highways of Gauteng (although it's largely impossible to go at the 120 km/h limit, even in the deep of night), but why tear through the pine forests of Mpumalanga just because it's legal?
It became a pattern for more than driving. Life became a dash between starting point and destination -- everything else was insignificant. But the more I read Scripture, the more I realise that the journey is as important to God (or more) as finishing. Speeding through a beautiful countryside may not be illegal, but it keeps me from appreciating the beauty around me; rushing through life may not be sinful, but I miss most of the memorable moments of life.
Maybe that's why I have such a hard time with God's timing in my life. If I'm three years ahead of where He is, it's no wonder that I can't discern his purposes, his ways, his quiet enjoyment of being there in the moment.
So, I'm trying to slow down and "smell the roses" -- but it's hard...