Being in a hurry never leads to anything good. In fact, rushing to do anything slows me down even more and almost always leads to disaster. Today was no exception. In an effort to get Allen out the door for his first day of set-up crew at church, I groggily ran downstairs to make coffee and get breakfast going. I noticed that Abrielle hadn’t touched the snack Allen got for her at dawn (her 5:30 wake up time) so she was probably ravished. The minutes ticked by and Allen still wasn’t out of bed. I still wasn’t awake, but of course was embroiled in the many demands of getting food, vitamins, movies, toys, etc.
I began to grow more and more annoyed that my husband was not yet down the stairs….I marched into the bedroom and gave him something just a little “more firm” than a love pat (to say the very least )and a very vocal reminder that he was running late-“is there coffee?” was all he could muster, and after I responded yes I ran back downstairs, yelling up that I had made breakfast. I am sure that there was steam coming out of my ears at this point-I really hate being late, and it wasn’t even me that had to be anywhere, but I was living vicariously through my husband or something.
He asked for pair of jeans laying on the stairs and without really looking hard I hastily tossed them up (we toss stuff to each other all the time, so it wasn’t a big deal). However, on this day, in a moment of panic and stress, I missed Allen by a longshot and instead hit king crab shell mounted on the wall. “Oh great” was all I could muster. I felt my heart sink to the bottom of my feet and couldn’t even look anyone in the eye. All I could see was the puddle of crushed crab shell at the bottom of the stairs. My control-freak-have-to-rush-cause-we-gotta-be-on-time-no-matter-who-or-what-I-have-to-power-through bit me in the butt once again.
Why, oh why does this happen? Was it worth the 10 minutes that Allen would be late? Was it worth the marital discord for who knows how long? (fortunately the anger burned off more quickly than I anticipated and before he left he said it was okay; he knew it was an accident.). Bless that man. Still, I spent the entire morning sorting through waves of guilt-this could never be replaced. I went over and over in my mind all the reasons I was angry, like I was almost justfiying what happened. A slish-sloshy sea of both agony on one side and contempt on the other. I foolishly went online in a panic at one point, looking up king crab taxidermists to see if I could find another-but what could replace something he hand-picked? Probably more of an insult than anything. I was grateful for getting the kids out the door and to the park just to get away from the house and reminders of the disaster that was my morning.
I started to think about all the times that I’ve messed up because of being in a hurry, because I’m worried about what others will think, whether it’s because I’m late or my husband’s late. I put more weight on assumed reactions than the grace that so abundantly flows in others. There’s the time I backed out of the driveway too quickly and hit the mailbox with the truck. The many times (too many to count) that I don’t hear instructions because I’m too consumed with my own rushed agenda and end up frustrating my husband and kids. I have trouble, admittedly, allowing others to be on their own timeline and being okay with that. I’ve gotta realize and own up to the fact that my husband, while we are a team, is responsible for himself and it isn’t a reflection on me if he’s a few minutes behind. What is the big deal in the end? I’m so great at building up catastrophies in my mind and 9 times out of 10 there’s no reason to worry and I want to kick myself in the long run. It’s kind of a vicious cycle.
S-L-O-W and steady, I’m gonna try and make that my new motto this week. Life will probably be more enjoyable and my relationships more satisfying. God please give me eyes to see that when I feel flustered or pressed for time, show me my heart, highlight my intentions, do away with my chaotic response and open the door for a better way of handling things not in my control. Amen.