The title of this blog has been sitting in my notes and drafts for months. This word “unhurried” was a whisper from the Lord quite some time ago. After the weight of accelerated schooling and striving for insubstantial goals caught up to me, I knew I needed to slow my pace. I even wanted to, but didn’t really know how, because it wasn’t something I was used to– I’d been go, go, go for too long. I’m always looking for the next adventure around the corner; oftentimes, I dissociate with the present because of this. I have a wild zest for life that I try to tame and preserve, but when I’m moving too fast it’s hard to do so.
What better time than in the middle of a pandemic, restricting us from the hubbub of our daily routines, to pause and consider how hurried we really are? My heart aches as the world collectively suffers sickness, fear, and disappointments. Cancellations have us scrambling to regain control and some semblance of normalcy. Our default mode is to get comfortable again amidst this chaos… but what if comfortable has never been what we’re called to, and we fully trusted the chaos to be calmed?
A month ago, I bought seven plane tickets. I was accepted into and registered for a study abroad experience of a lifetime, with a backpacking excursion to follow with my best friend. She and I stayed up on the phone for hours on end over many nights, meticulously researching and planning for this dream of a trip. As you know the story to go, my study abroad was canceled by the school and it is no longer safe to travel to Europe at all. I prepared myself through prayer as best I could for this outcome, and the Lord truly gave me a sense of peace about it from the moment I got the news. I meditated on Psalm 112:7– even though I’d read it before, its simple grace resonated differently: “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
But of course (and I’ll say it bluntly), this still sucked. We were devastated, and we’re still trying to sort through the logistics of rescheduling our trip with the same amount of uncertainty of when this will end looming over us. I’m no longer able to graduate according to plan. By God’s grace I’m still able to finish my main program by the end of this year, but part of my coursework has to change and that sucks too. I’m confident anyone reading this could come up with some way their lives have been altered by COVID-19. We will forever remember this time as one that was unprecedented in today’s society, but I challenge you to spend it learning to be okay with “unhurried.”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with rescheduling events and wanting to get things back in order– but we can do all of this without the haste. Before I started to write this, as I sat at my desk this Saturday morning, I felt rushed to get as much work done as I could. Although nothing was urgent (and I’m sure I have plenty of time at home in the coming weeks), my mind is trained to keep up with my obligations any time I have the ability to. I wrote a blog last year called “On Pacing” which serves as a reminder to slow down on the rat race. Today, with our paces being involuntarily slowed and our resources being cataclysmically stripped away, it’s important to rest in our one true provider.
“So do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? Or my drink? Or my clothes? Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things. So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.” -Matthew 6:31-34