by Christie Browning
**Author's note: This blog series is a year-long installment which will chronicle the year that I turn 40 with some comical moments, retrospective insights and empowering calls to action.
I've been warned. Over and over my husband has told me to slow down. It's true... I have a lead foot. My lead foot shows up most when I am running late and when I am ready to be at my destination. It's a issue I've faced my whole driving life... I like to go fast!
It finally happened. After years of not having a speeding ticket, I got one Friday night after work. I was on my way to pick up my stepson, running late and anxious to get home. That county back road was just begging for me to push the pedal to the metal. And I did.... 71 mph in a 55 mph zone. I didn't even have a chance to see that cop as I raced by, but he sure saw me and those lights kicked on.
I pulled over and was honest when he asked why I was speeding. Honest did nothing for me as he handed me a ticket and told me to slow it down. Granted, he did knock the speed down to 65 mph, but still... it was a ticket for me nonetheless.
You'll be pleased to know that I slowed down and when my stepson got in the car I confessed my traffic transgression. He thought it was hilarious and proceeded to tease me about it all weekend. We all had a great laugh at my expense and to the tune of almost $200, the fine for speeding.
I really believe I was a race car driver in my previous life. But regardless, Friday night's experience made me think how we can speed and race right through life. I know I am guilty of this. I get so focused on the bigger and better destination waiting up ahead that I blow right through the experiences, lessons and memories I could be having along the journey. When the old saying says "stop and smell the roses," I fly by so quickly that I blow the petals right off those beautiful blooms.
Being still and moving slow are not my favorite things to do. Whether it's in life or on the highway, I like to be moving ahead quickly, with purpose and my sights set on my destination. However, I realize that in my almost 40 years, I've blown past the chance to notice a friend in need, take time to listen to a voice that wants to be heard, miss a chance to create a memory, overlook the opportunity to make a small difference- all in the name of trying to make a Kingdom difference, big and bold.
My grandmother, who just recently celebrated her 94th birthday, was great a moving at a pace where she noticed life around her. She never missed the beauty of a flower blooming, the sweet bird's song in her tree, a timid deer making it's way across the ground. She saw beauty in all the world around her because she was looking for it and because she moved at a pace that let her eyes and heart fixate on it.
I wonder what her blog post would look like if she had one entitled "The Year of 94?"