In Others’ Words: The Problem of a Fast-Paced Life

I had a lunch date with my husband yesterday. While we were talking, he mentioned the year anniversary of someone coming to work at his office. I stopped him and said, “Has it really been a year? That time went by fast.”

Life moving fast? That happens a lot. 

I start counting down to something special, something weeks or even months away — like a writers conference or visiting a friend in another state or a vacation trip — and when the day arrives, I think, “How did that get here so quickly?”

Or children growing up … that always happens fast. As my oldest daughter likes to say, “Long days, short years.” Yeah, she’s the mom of a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, so she understands how quickly time passes.

How do we stop life from rushing past us?

For me, it’s about being intentional. Reminding myself that right here, right now is just as valuable as that moment I’m counting down to. I choose not to multitask, but to instead focus on one thing. One person. I turn off the TV because even if it’s just “background noise,” it still intrudes on the time I spend with my family. I silence my cell phone when I’m having a face to face conversation with someone.

Life is both fast-paced and moving past us so quickly … and there’s a difference. The decision is ours to determine our pace. Or not. And to realize who or what we are missing.

In Your Words: When was the last time you realized life “moves pretty fast,” as John Hughes says. How do you ensure that you don’t miss the parts of life you value the most?




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  1. September 7, 2017, 12:09 am   /  Reply

    Life does move quickly…or when you’re in a lot of pain, excruciatingly slowly…and that pace isn’t really within our control as long as we have to engage with the world, or with our own physical being.

    When life was too fast, I tried to slow it down by being intentional and aware…and thereby ruined the moments I wanted to savour by making them mawkish or maudlin. What I hoped to keep in sacred memory merely became cringe-worthy.

    We live in context, and while we can unplug from TV or the internet or our phones for a time, the context remains. This isn’t Lancaster County, we’re not Amish, and Bev Lewis isn’t writing about us.

    Far better to enjoy the moments in their fleet passage, and to know that they are not lost…the God who saves our tears also saves the moments we thought lost and the dreams we thought dead, and just imagine His glee when He presents them to us, to be unwrapped and enjoyed in His Presence!

    • September 7, 2017, 7:13 am   /  Reply

      Andrew: I wonder if God does indeed save our lost moments and dreams? One thing is certain: there will be no regrets in heaven. No sighing. No tears. And the ones we’ve hear are all gathered by our loving Father and returned to us.
      As you say, sometimes life must be taken at it’s pace — but being intentional is needed too.
      It is all about balance.

      Praying for you, my friend.

      • September 7, 2017, 1:02 pm   /  Reply

        Beth, you’re absolutely right – being intentional is necessary, because it’s so easy to simply conform to life’s dictates.

        It’s been rather hard for me lately, though, and all I can do now is react to the blows that are being landed on my body, and hope that the moments I would have slowed down at least stay in memory.

        Many, many thanks for the prayers.

        • September 7, 2017, 3:00 pm   /  Reply

          Andrew: You are living in a special time zone, so to speak. And you are living courageously and boldly and with honor. And you are faithful — and faith-filled.

          Praying for you daily.

  2. September 7, 2017, 8:06 am   /  Reply

    This summer just FLEW by! Your post is a good reminder to be sure to be present in every moment and not wish time away.

    • September 7, 2017, 8:27 am   /  Reply

      Ellie: The summer did fly by — and I honestly don’t know what happened to August!
      I’m trying to look up from computer when a family member talks to me. To turn off my phone more. To not check FB while I’m out and about because, well, I don’t need to.
      I want to be present more in life going on right now.

  3. September 7, 2017, 11:49 am   /  Reply

    The first day of school this year hit me. Hard. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest began junior high. I realized we really only have a few more years with these two gifts living under our roof. I’ve come to realize that the days seem slow but the years truly do fly by.

    I am working to be intentional with my relationships as well. It’s important to be “all there” when we interact with others.

    • September 7, 2017, 2:59 pm   /  Reply

      Isn’t it surprising how things like the start of the school year — and certain milestones like junior high and high school — cause us to step back and realize how quickly time passes?

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