Monday, May 18, 2015


In her book, "Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families," Ann Kroeger relates a story that I had not heard. In 2007 a Grammy-winning violinist, wearing a baseball cap posed as a street performer playing for change in the Metro Subway. It was a social experiment for a magazine article. The world-famous musician and his four million dollar Stradivarius fiddle, played during rush-hour to see if busy people would stop and listen to a master artist who drew sell out crowds in well known venues. 1,070 people passed Joshua Bell without paying any attention to him in the course of a little over forty minutes.  It was recorded that only a handful of people even took notice. It is not surprising that one of those who heard the music and wanted to stop was a three year old child, but his parents hurried him along. The story illustrates so well, how easily we can miss "the best things in life with our high-speed, high-pressured, highly-scheduled lives.
As Ann read that excerpt from her book aloud at Open Mic night, during the Jumping Tandem Retreat, her words stung. Thoughts rushed in, of a recent time I had pushed past an important moment to hurry on to something that won't matter in the larger story of life.

That regrettable, missed opportunity was seeing a neighbor at the mailbox.

Profound right?

Well, I hadn't seen Eva for months. And then twice in one week, I saw her and both times there was a prompt in my heart to stop and talk to her. Both times I pushed on by. Shortly following that, my neighbor who lived only four houses down, died suddenly in her home.

There is a sense that I missed an important conversation and probably a blessing.

Obligations, over-commitments and self-imposed schedules keep me running weary too often.

Do you do it too? 

Not only do I over commit, but too often I find myself rushing ahead of God and living outside the boundaries of to-day.  

Each of us have choices every single day that are unique to our own set of responsibilities, privileges, and identities. Often I am asked to be involved in good things, even great things, but the constant battle is to choose the things that are the best use of my time, resources and giftings. 

We have so much freedom and choice, but those things come with great responsibility as well. I always know when I'm operating outside of where I need to be, because my time alone with Jesus suffers and life gets exhausting.

Another thing that steals from living well today, is hanging on to past hurts or worrying about tomorrow. Bitterness, worry and fear will steal from our today life every time. It's worth the effort it takes to get free of those things so we can see the stuff in front of us that is truly amazing and worth our energy. 

In his book, "The Art of Work," Jeff Goins has a chapter called, Listening To Your Life. Jeff states that to really listen to our life, "we have to do what no one wants to do."

He says we need to imagine our own death. Stay with me here. 

The question he asks is this: "What will you wish you had more time to do, and what will have seemed trivial?"

I doubt that I will wish I had spent more time on social media and less time with the people in my physical world. 

I doubt that I'll wish I had used more time and energy being mad or sad or unhappy. 

I really, really doubt that I will wish I had amassed more things to dust and step over and clutter up my life. 

And the last thing on earth I ever want to do is simply push publish on another blog post. 

I'm desperate to have God infuse His power into all that He gives me to do.

Jeff Goins says, the best way to figure out what we are missing, is to watch people that we admire and see what they do, that we don't. 

The people I most admire don't have large homes with garages full of big toys, who take lots of amazing vacations. They are actually folks who live life with abandon, deeply honor their spouse and who give themselves away to love on the people around them. The people I admire most aren't out of breath from running on empty or stressed out over being extended financially, emotionally or physically. 

I think it comes down to how they live well, and how well they love. 

If things go good, we have today. We can only bear the weight of one twenty four hour segment at a time.

I know first hand how a few seconds can change everything that defines you. 

How life can look one way when the sun comes up and how nothing will ever be the same, –ever– when the sun sinks into the horizon and becomes yesterday. 

So much of life and death we have no control over, but –today– we have choices to make. 

I believe that there is a place where routine is power and freedom and I believe there are at least as many times when we should take our preconceived notions of what life should look like, and throw it out the car window at 75 miles per hour. 

What messes with our today, is often the picture in our head of how it is supposed to look.

There is great freedom and joy and abandon in the times when we eat ice cream for breakfast and waffles for supper drenched with extra butter and real maple syrup. And we need to stop the speeding car to take pictures of the baby squirrels playing in a strangers yard and pick up the phone and call the person who is randomly weighing heavy on our heart. Or better yet, skip the meeting and go to their house and just be present in their situation. 

It isn't trying to muster up good thoughts, so you can send positive vibes, to bring someone a happy life.

It is embracing the messy, hard, everyday, out of the ordinary, radical love, kind of stuff.

What if today we all packed up our pride and gathered our only strand of courage and did what really matters? 

Such as:




Choose truth over the lie.

Speak life into someones day.

Take one tiny step out of your routine.

Own our own stuff and stop blaming others.

Gather a bunch of dandelions because they are abundant.

Know that God hasn't missed a thing and is always working ahead of our today's.

Believe in Jesus and the price He paid for this day and all of eternity. 

Living our today's well, should make us want to stop waiting for tomorrow, or for the weekend, the next trip or counting how many days until we retire. We need to stop thinking that we will do 'that thing' when our husband changes or the kids are older, or….you-fill-in-the blank.

Francis Chan in his book, "Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God," said it well. We all need to be afraid of succeeding at what doesn't matter, instead of living today for what does.


It's all we may have and honestly if we live it right, its all we need.

If this were the last day you had on earth, what would you regret not doing?

What do you really need to do today?


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© Rhonda Quaney