Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Our Life is Not the Amazing Race

      Every Sunday night, when we are home, John and I settle on to the couch to watch The Amazing Race. It is our favorite show to watch, hands down, and it has been our favorite for years.  We are intense about it.  We DVR it so that we don't have to watch commercials, and we often will pause it to ask the other one what choice we would make in their situation.  We are involved.
      Five years ago, before we had children, we were going to try out for the show.  And, because I am a bit delusional, I am still convinced that we would have made it on the show.  I am pretty certain we would have a fighting shot at winning it, too, though strange things happen on The Race, and some things are outside of your control.  You never know when you will have a bad taxi driver or when your bike will break (or in our case, when you might lose track of your passport.)  However, instead of trying out for the show, we went on a mission trip to Africa and then went to language school in Costa Rica, which is definitely what God had for us at the time.  And now, with two young kiddos, it would be really hard to leave them for that long.
      So, we live vicariously through the race participants and add new places to our "must visit" list every week.  The world is a vast, varied place that I am amazed we have the opportunity to explore from time to time.  One down side about the Amazing Race in our lives is that our lives are not The Amazing Race.  This is actually something that we say to one another rather regularly.  If we are in line or driving and things are not going as smoothly or efficiently as we feel that they should, one of us (whichever one of us is feeling nicer) will say to the other one, "This is not the Amazing Race."  As in, we do not need to be in a hurry everywhere we are going.  We can enjoy what is happening around us without worrying about whether or not we are getting ahead.  
      But, we have to make that choice.  We have to make the choice to enjoy and be grateful for what is happening around us and not rushing on ahead to the next thing.  And, slowly but surely, I am realizing that godliness lies in the slowing, in the moment.  After reading the book One Thousand Gifts, I started regularly reading A Holy Experience, the blog written by the book's author.  I am so glad that I do.  She regularly points to the ways that gratefulness is one of the highest forms of worship to our Lord, and it constantly reminds me to slow down, breathe and take in This Moment.  Because God is in This Moment with me, and he has things to show me in This Moment.  He has gifts for me to see in This Moment.  And I miss This Moment all the time, because I am always thinking ahead or worse, I am distracted by things that don't matter, that cause me to miss This Moment in my own life.
      As an efficiency junkie, I am always trying to figure out the quickest, easiest way from Point A to Point B, and I have had a lot of success in doing things this way.  But, what have I sacrificed along the way?  What Moments have I missed?  I have seen a few situations in the last week that have reminded me of how we do not know what the next moment will bring, and they have driven me to the Lord in prayer, pleading for miracles and for hope.  
      As I mull these things over, I am still thinking and praying about my response.  I want my gratefulness to God to overflow my life and impact those around me, and that will take intentionality.  We shall see.  And, I am still sad that I have never gotten to do the actual Amazing Race, but I do know that I should not live my life like it is one.