Life is filled with trying to meet the latest deadline; submitting a report due, stop by the store for essentials, get the kids to bed, go to ball games, business meetings and conferences; get the oil changed in the car; stop off at the gym for a workout; prepare for an exam; mow the grass; write a speech, prepare for a sermon; and go to the studio.
With these things and more filling up our schedules, it’s easy to keep our focuses inward, to parcel out our time, money and energy for the things we want to accomplish rather than remembering the people we want to accomplish them for. It now becomes our constant practice to place more value on things rather than people.
When we get wrapped up in our own plans for the day, we can overlook what those around us truly need, and we can miss the opportunity to serve them.
Magazines articles tell us we need to slow down for the sake of our health and well-being. That may b true, but we also need to slow down for the sake of people- for the sake of family, for the sake of loving relationships. How can we know what people need, much less help with those needs, if we are distracted by our own agendas all the time?
How many of us have rushed past a homeless person on the street or the security guy that watches over your home, office or dormitories without noticing the look on his face? In the same way, every day we hurry by people, sometimes in our own kitchens, whose needs we could meet if we would set aside our to-do list for a few minutes.
Of course we each have certain things we need to get done each day. At the same time, we must realize that the most important thing may not be the most urgent thing. Nothing worth doing can be accomplished in one’s life time. When our long term perspectives carry more weight than our short term checklist, we realize that generosity is often simpler than we realize. The good lover’s question, what can I do for you?, doesn’t take long to ask. Pausing to listen to the answer can make all the difference to someone in need of love.