Have you had this kind of day when everything seems to turn upside down, when every nook and cranny of your day spells doom and gloom? Oh maybe that’s an exaggeration but it does happen. I know because I have had that kind of day or days when nothing seems to work and anything that I try to do falls flat on my face. And I rush here and there frantic to find a solution. It’s crazy. It gets me huffin’ and puffin’ like the big bad wolf in that nursery rhyme but the problems just won’t go away. So it leaves me with frazzled nerves and holding a bucketful of odds and ends that don’t fit. And then I lose my composure, my calm, my peace.
So where do I go from there?
Slow down. That’s what Mom would always tell me. “Slow down, child. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.” But I paid no attention. I never really appreciated what that meant. Because I saw slowing down as a big waste on my time. So I plodded on with my usual so-called brilliant maneuvers to sort things out. Don’t we always smugly think that we have all the answers?!! Yet it didn’t work out, things just got more messed up in the rush and flurry maze I got myself into.
That afternoon sitting at my desk I felt the world tumble down on me, felt like everything I did suddenly were falling apart or have already. I pushed my chair away from the desk angry at myself, stood up and walked to the window. Nope, I didn’t find any answers there – not in an empty lifeless street, not on that old man idly standing on the corner seemingly enjoying his cigarette, not on that street dog lazily curled up sleeping on the sidewalk content and uncaring, not in the boring sky with an equally boring spread of boringly white clouds above. In fact, the scene before me seemed to have been frozen in time – no movement, no action, just very still.
Slow down, Mom said.
That empty lifeless street in a few minutes will come alive with people and vehicles passing to and fro going about their day’s usual business. That old man after finishing off his cigarette will probably head back home and carry on with his tasks as father and grandfather of the house. That lazy street dog when he wakes up will resume his barking at anything that catches his fancy or threatens his turf. And that boring sky will change from sunny to gray, from sunrise to sunset and will move all of life along with it.
But they all stood briefly for one moment to simply slow down.
"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." --Saint Francis de Sales