Stop and Remember…

Ok, so it’s about time to write about my cat.  Now, I know there are a lot of cat-haters out there, so I beg of you to not give up on this post just yet.

I never really understood cats until my dear friend Jennie wanted to get a kitten when we rooming together.  Long story short, I absolutely adored her cat and watching him grow up.  He was crazy, cuddly, and random.

When I decided to get my own cat four years ago (J.J.), I didn’t realize how much I could love a creature and how much he could show me (yes, yes, corny I know, but truth!)  One of the most notable and less strange things J.J. has taught me is the beauty of slowing down. To stop and remember.  Now, he may just be looking out the window to oversee his “kingdom” of squirrels and birds in this picture, but he’s taught me all the same the beauty in stopping and reflecting.

See, I had a very busy and packed life in high school and college.  I had basketball and my studies, basketball, oh and did I mention basketball?  It was always a life on the go, and as good as much of that experience brought me, I found it very hard to be a person of slowing down after college.  I quickly learned that I was a very rushed and “busy” person without much ability to stop.  The six years since that time I have grown to love and practice reflection.

Being single can make slowing down and reflecting easier because I don’t have babies screaming or teenagers I’m responsible for 24/7 (maybe just 3ish hours a day 🙂 ).  Sure, I do tend to have packed days but it’s important for me personally to take time to stop and remember.   I really believe that stopping and remembering like my cat in his window is an important practice for all of us, although it may look different from person to person.

To stop and remember is to let go of our own “busyness” and to let God more into our lives.  To remember there is life all around us – squirrels scurrying, birds chirping, leaves blowing, bugs crawling, and people moving.  God simply has created such beauty in the midst of our lives and it is easy to forget that if we are always on the move.

Remembering God is at work and that there is beautiful life around us gives us the motivation to live with the appreciation of being a part of this Creation. It gives us humility knowing that we are just a piece of a big picture, yet still an important one somehow.

Author Dallas Willard once said, “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”  It’s important to invest in people and causes in a full kind of way, but not in a way that keeps us so hurried that we are never stopping and remembering, never stopping to smell the roses.  I think because  it is simply in that space that we remember the life all around us and that we have the gift of taking part in it.  It produces a gratitude lifestyle and not a burnout lifestyle. I don’t know about you, but I choose the first one!

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