A Group of People

Practicing the Art of Unhurriedness

In anxiety, hurrying, intentional, laziness, rejoicing, unhurried on March 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm

By Paula Gamble

I’m on a quest to live unhurried. But being unhurried in a world full of bustling festinaters feels awkward. There is both internal and external friction – a contrariety between what is considered and expected as the “norm” of our work days and what we were originally created for.

Sometimes a difficult edge of “guilt” arises when I pursue my desire to unhurriedly saunter, linger and frolic. Some days the line between a healthy lingering and my own propensity to laziness is about as hard to distinguish as a single grain of sand in the Sahara. On this quest to become proficient as an unhurried person I will have to unlearn the cultural admonitions regarding always working hard (and constant) to produce, amass, and feel accomplished.

Who defines that anyway?

So an unguilting needs to take place – I imagine it will come with practice. So I practice – driving in the right lane and being patient in long grocery lines (both which infuriate me most of the time, revealing how far I have to go). I practice saying “no” to many things…so that perhaps I can be saying “yes” to the better parts. It takes intentionality to live unhurried.

I bet Adam and Eve did a lot of sauntering, lingering and frolicking with God in the garden. But introduce a grabbing for “more,” a dissatisfaction with the 99 percent of what was given, and we find the introduction of guilt and blaming and hiding and rushing and agitation. Not too different from our pathologically hurried modern day lives – even with all our time saving technologies!

I imagine heaven being a place of sauntering, lingering and frolicking – that’s why it feels so pertinent to practice it here. How can I integrate these three verbs into this day? Perhaps it’s just as easy as choosing a “guilt-free” half hour on my schedule dedicated to nothing in particular except that which presents itself. Start by sauntering, which often leads to lingering, which often leads to a heart-full frolic (which in Latin (or old German?) means to rejoice/exult!) And one should never feel guilty doing something that leads to rejoicing right?

If Sauntering and Lingering and Frolicking lead to rejoicing – and we are to “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice” – then natural reverse logic says, “Saunter in the Lord always, and again I say saunter. Linger in the Lord always, and again I say linger. Frolic in the Lord always and again I say, frolic.”

I know – probably too much liberty with that Biblical admonition. But how often I hear people say, “How am I supposed to choose joy? Do I just recite happy Bible verse until they sink in?” Well – perhaps. But what if rejoicing had little to do with words and memorization. What if rejoicing happens wordlessly as we saunter, linger, admire (Latin ad = near or towards; mirari = to wonder) and respond with a capriolic frolic?

Finding it hard to rejoice?
Slow down to a saunter.
Lean into linger.
Find time to frolic –
and somewhere along the way, you will find yourself rejoicing!

To read more from Paula, please visit her blog by clicking –> here.


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