Slow Down, You Move Too Fast.

I am running behind.

My inbox holds 1669 unanswered emails. My Facebook tells me 20+ people are waiting to be confirmed as friends. This is not a boast ~ it is a confession.

Yesterday 5PM was the final due date for the twice extended deadline for “The Kindlings” IRS tax return. It was postmarked at 4:40PM.

Personal friends are waiting for return phone calls.

A month ago the guy delivered wood for our winter’s needs. Last night our home answering machine carried a reminder to coordinate a time for him to pick up his payment.

I don’t think I am busier than ever before. I think I am less driven by the tyranny of the immediate. I am trying to do each day what God leads me to do in that day.

This is new territory for me because, being Swiss I take time and due dates seriously, and being a type-A recovering workaholic, I’ve always prided myself in doing whatever to takes to keep abreast of all the details of daily life, while still concentrating on the big picture. I’ve tried to be a “See both the forest and trees guy,” a fly at “30,000 feet while “zooming in where the rubber meets the road too.”

I wonder about this change in me. Sometimes I think it is old age or maturity. The latter seems unlikely.

Sometimes I think it is a new tranquil spiritually rootedness God-directedness. Jesus came down from the mountain after praying, saw a long line of people waiting to be healed, and told the disciples they needed to go to the next village. Comparisons of myself to Jesus, especially when they are flattering about me, are generally completely and utterly ridiculous, so I wonder what else is going on.

Maybe it is realizing and accepting my limitations. I want to be everywhere for everyone at once. Omnipresence is reserved for God.  I wonder if this was the most difficult sacrifice Jesus made when he took on flesh. What a bummer to know the universe exists and to be stuck in time and space in a provincial village in a country the size of Rhode Island. Did he miss communing with the Chinese, Africans, Latin Americans, Native Americans and Europeans?

Did he look at the befuddled disciples and narrow-minded religious elite and ask, what in the heck am I doing here? Why me?

Place has become really important to me. Having hosted a national radio show and having been involved in international business that took me to 55 countries, I now live on a small island in a small state where I am part of a small church.

It is all very local, grassroots and relational. Facebook, email, writing for a broader audience, an occasional foray off-island and into the world, these are all part of my life, but they are not the core of my present life.  (My friend Mike’s maxim is, “a day off the island is a week off your life!”)

The core of my life consists of daily encounters with my wife and one daughter living at home, my co-workers, the members and attendees of our little church and my friends in the community (only about 4,500 live on the island in the winter).

This merry, motley, ragamuffin, local band of folks occupy most of my time.

I finally get the line, “when you’re not with the ones you love, love the ones you are with.”

When you do this, love is your daily guide. You give all you can in the present moment to those in front of you. You pray for God’s grace on those reaching out to you who you have been unable to respond to, knowing you love them dearly and hoping they understand. You pray that God’s will be done in this day on earth as it is in heaven.

You start the day, end the day and devote all of rest of the day by seeking God’s guidance in revealing to you what you should accomplish that day. You give it your all, then at day’s end you go to bed, get some good rest and the next day  you start all over again the joyous process of being fully human and fully alive, with the wind of God in your sails, going where He wills that day.

Today, it meant setting aside of few minutes to write this little bit as an act of love for whoever might read it.


Posted in Staublog in November 16, 2011 by | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to Slow Down, You Move Too Fast.

  1. ST111611 | Dick Staub on November 16, 2011 at 9:34 am

    […] I am running behind. I don’t think I am busier than ever before. I think I am less driven by the tyranny of the immediate. I am trying to do each day what God leads me to do in that day. This is new territory for me. Read More. […]

  2. Rebekah Whitehouse on November 17, 2011 at 7:26 am


  3. nan monk on November 17, 2011 at 8:54 am

    How true it is my friend. That is all we really have in the end to do… So today I woke up tired but happy that I can do some of the things that give me joy with friends that are dear to me.

    thanks for your thoughts, Nan

  4. Kathy Robbins on November 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I found you at the UM Portal. I loved your article about what Steve Jobs saw just before he died. Wonderful. Loved the information about Norman Mailer. I have read his books and admire his writing. The idea of the closeness of God is comforting, but if what Norman said is true, I will try to remember to keep a breath mint in my mouth. LOl! This article about slowing down and living in the here and now is great too. I always wondered if Jesus received daily instructions from God; a kind of to-do list, if you will. Hopefully, one day, we will all know more fully.

  5. Dick Staub on November 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Nice to meet you Kathy!

  6. Dan Armistead on November 17, 2011 at 8:05 pm


    I’m enjoying your site. God seems to be doing the same kinds of things in me that He’s doing in you. I’d like to think it’s age and maturity. I know it’s GRACE. One of my favorite seminary professors use to say, “Jesus was never in a hurry, but he was always on time.” Your site, your ministry, and your blogs are right on time in my life. Blessings.

  7. chris elms on November 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Maybe you’re tired of running, and letting your foots walk, one step at a time, maybe even sometimes one foot on the dirt one of the grass, and feeling which foot ya’lls standing on as you talk to one of your fellow frozen in paradise souls

    love ya buddy

  8. chris elms on November 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Oh, yeah,
    my blogs shifting towards its new title: http;//

    and the Needleman interview in Dec Sun points out the common vast center we tiptoes toward in our talks: the ineffable God findable only in the now and the silence

    love part 2

  9. Karin on December 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I new you loved me, b/c you helped me find that truth of love in ‘friends for the journey’. I struggle with exactly what you are writing about. With three kids, a husband, a home, a dance company, and an instrument that is my body, I am ever frustrated that I still can’t be MORE for others.
    Thank you for writing this blog!
    Much love Dick!

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