I posted a series based upon what I described as three little words that can change your life. I did a whole bunch of posts using three word phrases that can have great meaning in one’s life. Pastor Jack Freed, the retired pastor of my church and the author of the Jack’s Winning Words blog, often supplies the inspiration for my posts in his blog. He also sent me a whole bunch of three word phrases to think about, many of them very challenging. Today’s post – Not So Fast – is one of his suggestions.
The phrase “not so fast” is used quite often is a disciplinary way, as a warning to slow down. It may be that the advice being given is not to jump to conclusions about things or people. It may be advising that a task or pursuit be slowed down, so as not to make a mistake. For teens it’s often an admonishment not to get to serious too quickly, usually with a sexual connotation. For children it’s often quite literally an attempt to get them to slow down, before they hurt themselves. Not so fast!
For all of us the phrase, “not so fast.” Might just be good advice on living our lives. We all tend to get caught up in the rapid pace of modern life and sometimes need to be slowed down a bit. “What’s the hurry?” is a phrase that my wife uses with me a lot. She’s right; of course, there really isn’t any need to hurry most of the time. It’s just that I’ve gotten so used to getting on to the next thing that I sometimes don’t take the time to enjoy the thing that I’m doing at the moment. Not so fast!
Sometimes she’ll say, “What else have we got to do today?” Usually there isn’t anything else that is all that pressing, it’s just me trying to get to whatever the unknown next thing is for the day. So, maybe it’s time for me, and perhaps some of you, too, to say “not so fast.” Maybe it’s time to slow down and enjoy what we are doing now and enjoy the people that we are doing it with; rather than always looking ahead to the next thing and hurrying to get there. Not so Fast!
There are things that we can do that almost force us to slow down. Going to a baseball game is one. Baseball just isn’t a hurry up type game. There’s no shot-clock in baseball or any hurry-up, two-minute offense. There are efforts to speed up the game a bit, so as to shorten the length of games; but who really wants to cut short a day in the stand when the sun is shining, the weather is nice and there are hot dogs to be consumed. Not so fast!
Elsewhere in life there are endless examples of things that we enjoy more when we take the time to give them our full attention and time. Even in our work lives the rush to get something done in a hurry often leads to more mistakes than good. We fool ourselves into believing that we can “multi-task”, when all we are really doing is screwing up multiple things at one time. In our personal relationships, one of the biggest reasons, I believe, that so many marriages end in divorce is that there was a rush to the altar before the relationship had been given time to mature beyond the physical ardor and into true affection, understanding and love. Not so fast!
In our daily lives we hear terms like “getting a rush on” or “being on the fast track” or “getting up to speed” and “full speed ahead” to describe success, or the path to success. We have speed dating, because we need to make quick decisions and get on to the next candidate. We have Fast Food places with drive-through windows so that we can eat in our cars or carry the meal home. Many of us are now connected 24 X 7 through our ever present devices and constantly temped to take a quick peek to see if we are missing anything. We spend more time seeing that we are not missing anything else than actually doing what we might be currently engage in. Not so fast!
I have slowed my pace a bit (though not enough for my wife, yet) as I get older and I try a bit harder to focus upon the moment and not worry about the future or what else I might be missing. I still check my phone way too often to see if there are new messages; although, I do note that most new messages are n no importance and just get deleted right away. I wasn’t missing anything anyway. I’m trying to take my wife’s advice and slow down to enjoy the moment. In other words, I’m trying to live my life – Not so fast!
What about you? Are you still on life’s treadmill with it set for an uphill run? Are you looking past the moment to see if there’s anything else to do? Are you enjoying the people you are with now or constantly looking for someone else. Here are three little words that can change your life – Not so fast!