Last week I was with a friend climbing the stairs to the U-bahn that would take us back to school. We just missed a train, which seems to be the norm in my life. We got to chatting about whether we tend to run to catch it or just wait for the next one. She said that she doesn’t run, since the next one is just a few minutes away. I must admit – I tend to be the runner. It gets me so frustrated when I run up the stairs and make it to the door, just to have the conductor close it on me. Of course, I take that personally, as he must have seen me huffing and puffing to get there, right?
Why is it that we seem to rush through life? This last week I was reading another book by Donald Miller about a trip he took in an old, beat-up VW van with no particular destination in mind. He compared our use of technology to a time machine. He said, “It moves us through an age of work in a short week.” Because we have heaters and air conditioners, concrete and carpeting, “we live on top of the created world, not in it.” We don’t truly experience the heat of summer or the cold of winter. We wear shoes, so we don’t touch the dirt from which we were even made. We ride on trains and in cars that move us from place to place without us even interacting with what we see outside the window. We really are living on top of the world!
I wonder if that is the way God designed for us to enjoy this beautiful world. Instead of spending time watching the rain fall or listening to the birds sing, we sit in front of a computer or TV screen or play video games to pass the time. We rush to get from one place to the next, but do we appreciate the beautiful color of the leaves on the trees or the fluffy cloud formations?
This past week our secondary students enjoyed some time away from school and the classroom while on their Class Trips. They had a chance to experience the beautiful world that God created for us. They had time to enjoy being with their friends and teachers without having to worry about whether they completed their homework correctly. They had time to laugh and sing and think.
Over the weekend, I surprised my husband by booking an AirBnB in a small village in the Czech Republic two hours drive from Vienna. We were surrounded by trees burdened with tons of red apples waiting to be picked. We were even fortunate to see deer, pheasants, ducks, and guinea hens. We smelled the changing air, as we anticipate the start of Fall. We enjoyed seeing medieval castles nestled on top of magnificent mountains and marveled at the stained glass windows in the spectacular cathedrals dedicated to the glory of God.
This coming week, I encourage you to stop running through life, but to take time to truly experience it. Look around you and notice the others who are riding on the U-bahn with you. Smile when you see a child in a stroller, and marvel at the diversity of our beautiful city. Enjoy the view as you pass over the Donau, and pray for ICSV as you ponder the amazing creation that God made for us to enjoy. Maybe you can even walk up the stairs at the U-bahn station and wait for the next one. Who knows who you might meet or what you might see by taking the next train?
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.