by REV. LAURIE TENHAVE-CHAPMAN
First Congregational Church
Lately I’ve been driving like someone who would have driven me crazy just a while ago. I am a few weeks post-surgery and still moving in slow motion more than I realize. I look in my rearview mirror to see someone on my tail and think, “What’s your rush?” Just six weeks ago I would have been that one riding the tail of someone barely going the speed limit. My time was booked beyond capacity. I had places to go and people to see in a short period of time. So time was of the essence. Now, my job is to heal.
It’s good to experience times that force you to get out of the fast lane. I find myself surprised at the rush attitude of others and realize that I’m usually in that mode.
Right now I’m being cared for by others and have time to write thank-you notes for their gifts of kindness. I’m playing games with my children and reading books that have collected dust on my nightstand for several years.
As I gain strength, I find my thoughts and energies returning to my job and the creative juices start to flow into my professional return. As I spend more time alone at home healing, I wonder why it is in my ministry that I find it so hard to carve out time for home visits. Wouldn’t this be an obvious priority? Surely, I resolve, when I return I will make more time for visiting others who are struggling with one of life’s bumps. And some of the less important stuff will remain undone.
The right lane of traffic isn’t such a bad place to be. As people are lovingly the Body of Christ for me, I am invigorated to reach out more fully from the gifts God has given to me. Isn’t this what Jesus said to his confused disciples long ago? “As you have done it to one of the least of these in my family, you have done it unto me.”
The person on your tail has the passing lane, after all. So slow down and connect with those in the right lane, for Christ’s sake.