When I was newly married my husband and I bought my first non-junkyard car.
It was a four-year-old Honda Civic that had a pull-out stereo. You remember, don’t you? So it wouldn’t get stolen. Before we bought it, we faithfully researched it in the Kelly’s Blue Book to see what it was really worth.
We arrived at the dealership armed with our numbers, our budget and our negotiating caps on. We’d seen this Civic advertised and we knew exactly what we wanted.
The sales guys swarmed us like four-year-olds on a soccer ball.
We found the car, opened the doors, took it on a test drive and decided that it was exactly what we needed.
In the sales office we presented our budget to them.
You know, I’m not sure we can meet those numbers.
Let me ask my manager, see what he says.
Hey, man, I’m on YOUR side, but I don’t know what our bottom line is on this car.
I gotta feed my kids, man. See, here’s a picture of her. Isn’t she adorable?
We all gotta make a living, right?
This is the best deal you’re gonna see anywhere in town.
So we walked away. I really, really wanted that white Civic with the pull out stereo. I could just imagine popping my cds in that thing while I drove to work. I really wanted it’s zippy-ness and plus, it was a hatchback which, in 1998 was irresistible. I really wanted that car.
But we walked out the door.
We didn’t walk out the door because we were playing a game, like some might. We walked because we knew there was truly no rush. There would be a car for me tomorrow, or next week or in a few months. I could duct-tape the lil’ old Hyundai together for a little while longer if I had to.
There was no rush and there was no such thing as “the best deal in town.”
We made it out to the parking lot and the sales manager jogged up behind us. He thrust out his hand to Chad.
“We can meet your budget. Do we have a deal?” he asked.
They shook hands and less than an hour later I drove away in a little white used Honda Civic.
I don’t often feel the peace that is only found in the slowness of life, the non-rushing quality of a life lived without the pressing need for the now.
Someone noticed this past weekend that Jesus walked. His ministry was spent simply walking.
He didn’t rush around to meet everyone’s expectation or make deadlines and even when someone else was visibly upset by a pressing need, he still addressed them with care and intention. He was so unaffected by time that sometimes he even seemed “too late” to help. Lazarus died, it seems, while he dawdled. But he wasn’t too late, was he?
He was right on time.
I’d also like to imagine that He thought long and hard before he spoke. That his words were weighed and chewed and mulled before he uttered them. He was not quick to speak, but that there was a certain intentional slowness about Him. He had work to do, yes, but He did it at the very right time.
We each have our right times.
Our western culture forces us into living with time-sensitivity and deadlines and constant reminders of time, but I wonder if we weren’t meant to rush about like we do. And I wonder if maybe we weren’t made to force the things that will come along anyway as they will.
Let us breathe deeply, have peace to know that the car does not have to be bought today and that our lives can be slowed if we decide that that is important.
Whatever is pushing us to rush? Let us let it go.
Let us weigh our words (there is no rush to speak).
Let us not wish for the future (tomorrow will take care of itself).
Let us not worry that we have not done more or accomplished more than we have at this very moment. (There will be time for that.)
And let us never worry that we are “too late” for life. Our story can begin right now if we choose.
Do you worry that you’ve missed out on something? Do you have trouble slowing down? Do you feel rushed?