We’re all accustomed to the plane-landing routine: The ding sounds and everyone begins scurrying.
The most comical sight is the people who quickly dash down the aisle to gain a row or two. The airplane’s door does not open immediately. We all know that, don’t we? Now everyone is crammed in more awkward positions than when we were neatly seated—yet the rush is on. So, we sit, stand, check our cell phones, talk about how much of a hurry we are in, and engage in uncomfortable small talk with the person whose head is now directly below our armpit.
Twenty minutes later, I see many familiar faces from the flight waiting in line at the first Starbucks they can find in the airport. But, they’re still in a hurry.
Why are we in such a hurry? Are we actually in such a hurry? Does darting about quickly make us feel as though we are more important than someone else? Is it okay to assume that we are in more of a hurry than the person next to us on the plane or—better yet—the majority of the others on the plane? Is our schedule too important to just sit patiently, relax, and move when it is our turn to move?
Slowing ourselves down will not just literally slow things down, but will also us to live more fully.
Admittedly, I love a fast pace. However, I also know I’m a better teammate, friend, husband, and contributor to the world when I slow down and allow myself to live fully in each moment.
Slowing down doesn’t mean stopping. Slowing down means pressing the brakes from time to time long enough to see the view from the window, or the person on the side of the road.
In his book The Space Between the Notes, Dr. Richard Wing fascinates me with his depiction of the Bible story in which Jesus calms the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Even if you’re not a person of faith or the mere mention of this makes you a tad uneasy, hang with it, the point is applicable regardless. The story: Jesus was with the disciples on a boat when a storm hit. He was taking a nap while the waves got higher and higher. With each crashing wave, the disciples grew more frantic. Finally they woke Jesus. He walked to the front of the boat and yelled out, “Quiet! Be still!” and the waves slowly subsided.
The story made sense in a Biblical Savior/Jedi Knight/Prophet kind of way. Wing invited me to see it from a different angle. “When the words ‘peace, be still’ are spoken, they are addressed to persons, not the weather,” Wing wrote. Maybe Jesus wasn’t speaking to the waves. Maybe he was talking directly to the world.
Why the rush?
When the ding in your proverbial plane goes off today, you will be free to move about the cabin. I invite you to practice stillness in that moment. We may just leave ripples of a different kind.
Jason Barger is the globally celebrated author of Step Back from the Baggage Claim, ReMember, and the newly released book Thermostat Cultures, as well as a coveted keynote speaker and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
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