I have been going through the book I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt by Vince Antonucci with my young adults’ class. We didn’t meet this week because of weather but last week we covered a chapter that focused on slowing down. The short version is many of us live life at 100 mph when God is moving at 3 mph. This is a reference to our habit of having our goals and tasks and completing them while missing all the people we could be interacting in as we accomplish our goals.
Vince uses some really great examples from his life, but I want to share one of mine. Monday was my wife’s birthday but I had some important tasks I had to finish. I took my kids to school in the morning and pushed to get everything done by noon so I could take my wife out for lunch and spend the rest of the day with her. I accomplished my goal but I really failed.
One of my tasks was to call the ministers in my section and remind them of the meeting we had Tuesday. I waited till I finished my other tasks because I didn’t want to call too early in the morning so I was running close on my planned end of the day when I reached a minister who sounded old and tired. His voice was raspy as he answered the phone and I politely verified who he was and informed him who I was and why I was calling. He told me that he likely wouldn’t come but if he could make it he would let me know. I gave him my number and he had trouble with reading it back. I patiently corrected him until he had it right. I was feeling good about not getting frustrated at having to repeat myself so many times as he apologized. He mentioned he couldn’t see very well since he had cancer and I graciously let him know that it was no problem as I wished him a good day. I was listening to the phone ring for the next person on my list when it occurred to me that I was running at 100 mph and the 3 mph God was wanting me to interact with this pastor.
I don’t know who the man is. I have never met him but I made a note to call him back. I did as soon as I finished the list, but didn’t reach him. Tuesday I was busy all day so I haven’t called back yet. I want to call him and talk to him. I don’t want to just check off my “I did the right thing” list. I want to really follow God as He leads. It goes against my personality but I think it is what God is calling me to.
Do you go through life so fast you miss the relationships God wants to build? How can we change?