Have you ever started to compliment the grocery checker, ask a postal worker how their day is going, or thank someone in military uniform for their service, only to stop short because they seem too busy? When someone rushes through the moments with you, not even making eye contact, it feels impossible to give them any encouragement. Maybe this effect only happens to introverts, but it illustrates a principle for life: when you aren’t present in the moment, you miss the blessing of the moment.

In her book One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp describes God as being found and experienced in the present – it’s in His name, the I AM. But like the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-34), if you don’t expect Him to visit as you hustle along your way, you can miss Him when He is walking at your elbow.  Ann quotes a friend, “I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing… Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”

How can you keep from being caught up in hurrying? It starts with letting the Lord set the boundaries of your life and of the load you need to carry.  He says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light,” (Matthew 11:28-30, NLT).  If your daily to-do list leaves you with no rest for your soul, chances are that some of that list doesn’t belong to you. His yoke is easy!

You can slow the rushing of time for yourself by letting go of burdens He hasn’t given you, and by cultivating the habit of pausing to listen for Him in your everyday moments. What if today by choosing to slow down, you could begin to scoop up all the blessings He has laid along your path instead of hurrying past them?