In the words of the immortal Ferris Buehler, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”Or if you are not a fan of 1980’s movies, the words of Benjamin Franklin might be more fitting, ‘Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”
Everyone has experienced the feeling of time flying by too fast. A day slips into a week and then into months in what seems like the blink of an eye. So how do we make the most of our time? How can we slow down and appreciate our minutes more intentionally? The key is awareness, and one way to become more aware is to engage our senses.
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I love a really good cup of coffee, and I try to find and enjoy one anytime I can. The taste is amazing, and the smell is out of this world. I grind my coffee beans in the morning to start the day with a cup. I’ve noticed how easy it is to fly through making coffee each morning and never even stop to enjoy the wonderful smell that is all around me. My mind is already three steps ahead in my day, and I’m rushing to keep up. Taking time to smell the wonderful aromas all around you is a great way to slow down your day. “Stop and smell the roses” is good advice to take literally from time to time.
When things are busy it’s easy to see food simply as fuel to keep us going. It’s important to remember, however, that food was meant to be enjoyed. God could have chosen to make everything taste like oatmeal. But, thankfully, He did not. There are thousands of flavors to be enjoyed if we will only slow down long enough to savor them.
Instagram and Facebook are packed with pictures of people posed by waterfalls and on mountain tops. Fields of sunflowers are used for quick photo ops. In our drive to capture moments of beauty, we are finding wonderful images everywhere. But our need to post a great photo can keep us from simply enjoying the moment and the beauty that it offers. There is beauty all around us if we are able to stop long enough to see it.
Life is noisy. Most days a thousand noises from as many places invade our brains. If we can filter through all of the sounds, though, we can often find something beautiful to listen to. Take time to enjoy a song, rather than just playing music as a way to kill the silence. Birds singing, children laughing, and oceans roaring are all sounds that can make us stop and enjoy the moment.
My three year old still needs to hold my hand around cars and coming down stairs. Feeling that little hand clamp onto mine isn’t just a way to get across the parking lot, however, it’s a way to be connected, and it’s magical. Touch is important, whether it’s a cooling breeze on our skin or scratching a puppy’s ears, touch can remind us to slow down and be present in the moment.
When we listen to and engage our senses, we become able to slow down and enjoy moments rather than just speeding through them. Time is too precious to be squandered. Look for an opportunity today to take a deep breath and enjoy what is around you. Every moment of our day can be a gift if we are able to slow down long enough to enjoy it.