Last weekend, I took my son on a date. While my husband escorted our daughters to the annual “Butterfly Kisses” Dance, Noah and I went to play indoor “glow golf” and feast on hamburgers at a new eating place we had discovered. The golf place was not crowded, so we were taking our time, enjoying our time together and chatting as we played. Pretty soon, another mom and son (whose father was also at the dance with his daughters) came along behind us and quickly caught up to us. We invited them to play through, as they seemed to be in a hurry and we did not wish to be rushed. The mom apologetically said to me, “Sorry, we don’t do anything slowly.” After a few more holes of golf, another family (this time a dad and kids) caught up to us and again, we stepped aside to let them go ahead of us. As soon as one of their party finished the hole, he or she would rush off to the next hole, leaving behind the rest of the family. They rushed from hole to hole in a frenzied race to complete the course. In the time it took my son and me to play the first 27 holes of mini-golf, the other families had finished all 54 holes and left the building. Noah looked at me and said, “We aren’t that slow, are we?”
We talked about how everyone seemed to be in such a hurry. The families who had come to play, ostensibly to spend time together, were rushing to finish without taking time to watch each other golf or to have a conversation. Noah and I were taking our time, but we weren’t dawdling…how could these other families have finished so much faster than we did? And why were they all in such a rush?
This morning in church, our minister talked about how we are living in what some have called “the Aspirin Age”. We are living in a time of tremendous pressures and anxieties, with stress brought on by economic difficulties, strained family relationships and over-packed schedules. He mentioned that the times of walking slowly by babbling brooks or living unhurried, peaceful lives are long gone. We’ve replaced these tranquil times with frenzied activity, rushing from one event to the next. We’ve forgotten how to relax, how to have a Sabbath, and how to spend unhurried time together as families.
Noah and I were saddened by what we saw that afternoon. It felt like watching the world rush by in fast-forward motion while we were playing at regular speed. I think it was eye-opening to both of us as we contemplated what was really important—that for just a couple of hours, we were slowing down and enjoying our time together as mother and son while the world marched on without us. Everything else could wait; for now, nothing was more important than spending time with my boy, who will all too soon be a man with little time for or interest in playing mini-golf with his mother. I refuse to miss out on these precious moments because the world says there are more important things to do…and I hope that my son will look back someday and cherish that afternoon spent slowly playing fifty-four holes of mini-golf.
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