A few weeks ago, our family got to enjoy a beach vacation before the summer rush. We had planned the trip earlier in May so that it would not be insanely crowded at the beach. My wife and I were hurrying up to get there so we could slow down.
At our location, there was a lazy river winding around the outdoor pool. Nothing says relaxation like a lazy river. There is something glorious about being pushed around on that inner tube.
But there is always that one kid. You know the one I am talking about. The kid that swims and splashes in the lazy river.
I can’t stand that kid who splashes in the lazy river.
In fact, I was enjoying some time on the lazy river when those wild, rambunctious kids came splashing through. Swimming underneath me. Splashing as they kicked the top of the water.
My boys watched these kids. They got that look in their eyes and began to participate as well. They enjoyed switching places between different inner tubes and began to splash those around them. I pulled them aside and warned them:
“Don’t be that kid in the lazy river.”
“What kid?” they asked.
“That kid who splashes and rushes through something when everyone else is trying to slow down and enjoy it. Don’t be that kid. Nobody likes that kid.”
Nobody likes that kid who rushes in the lazy river and nobody likes that person who can’t slow down to enjoy the moment.
I don’t like that kid because I normally am that kid. Out of the lazy river and into life, I am constantly rushing when it is time to slow down. I know only one speed. I am addicted to progress. And I am sure it is quite annoying to those around me.
Maybe you are like me and tend to be more of a Martha than a Mary (Luke 10:38-42). It is so easy to stay busy. Being still often entails being reminded that God is God and we are not (Ps. 46:10). It is easy to get busy building tents when we just need to behold the moment (Matt. 17:4).
We struggle with splashing about too much.
- Do you struggle with unplugging on vacation?
- Do you struggle checking out of work when you are home?
- Do you have a difficult time just enjoying a Sabbath rest?
- Do you resist leisure time?
- Can you make it through a time to choose what is greater (and harder to see) while resisting what is less (yet right before your eyes)?
Learn to unplug. Learn to slow down. Learn to enjoy the moment. Work like crazy but learn to rest and be present when you need to be.
Don’t be that kid in the lazy river.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.