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Sep 22

Written by: Greg Runyon
9/22/2009 8:28 AM 

I once rode in a hotel shuttle in Charleston, South Carolina.  It was driven, typically at about 20 miles-an-hour over the limit, by a fellow with a keychain that read “Slow Me Down, Lord.”  I spent the entire shuttle ride praying to said Lord that He not slow us down by having us careen into a concrete abutment. 

 

I've never forgotten that keychain, of course because of the ridiculousness of the situation—which,  having survived it, I treasure—but more often for the desire to hone my patience.  I think I've gotten pretty good at it.

 

I believe in timing.  That is, I believe in there being 'correct' moments on the space-time continuum for things to happen.  I'm often content to wait for those moments to come to me, without trying too hard to force them.  Whether it's a relationship, or a job, or some other life event starting or ending, it seems like things kind of play out in their proper moments in time.

 

Now, some will say that it shows a lack of motivation on my part to allow the world to present things to me, instead of me chasing the next thing.  Perhaps it does to some degree, but it's not like I don't seek opportunities.  I'm pretty attuned (I think, anyway—perhaps I'm delusional) to what's going on around me, and keep my antennae up to be aware of possibilities.  Every now and again, I dream big.

 

When you allow things to come to you, instead of you striving for them, it's like a grown-up versus a childhood Christmas.  Instead of wanting and wanting and wanting, and potentially being disappointed when you get underwear instead of Lego*, you can enjoy what's going on now, and when the day arrives unwrap a gift you had no expectation of, and so often be pleasantly surprised.  I suppose in this regard that I'm an optimist.  I believe good things are coming my way.

 

I do believe that if you find something specific you really want, go ahead, pursue it.  But you don't necessarily need to put the gas pedal down full-throttle to rush toward  it.  I'll take the tortoise over the hare, I guess.  You can make deliberate steps toward things you want, see how the world adjusts, and then readjust yourself.  You just have to have the self-confidence enough to know when the moment is correct to pounce, as it were. 

 

Sometimes, though, you're better off being the pounce-ee, rather than the pounce-er.  I've many times been happily astonished by things happening to me that I'd never even considered as possibilities.  I've wondered at those times whether the opportunities would have come my way had I been so busy striving for something else.  Of course, in the end, there is no way to know for certain.

 

Thus, I suppose, it's not a lack of aspiration I'm espousing, but rather a coordinated combination of pursuit and observation.  If you're so busy dashing about to attain your next whim, you may not have the ability until you've either succeeded or failed to see what else is possible.  Slow your pursuit, and keep your head on a swivel.  That way, you can not only walk directly at your current target, but also identify other targets along the way, some of which may be even more to your liking.

 

So may the Lord slow you down a bit on this journey though life.  Just not with a concrete abutment.

 

*For those of you shopping for your favorite disc jockey for Christmas, please be advised I now prefer underwear to Lego.  Boxers, not briefs.

 

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