Shortly after hearing the news that Dallas Willard had died, I read the following quote:
“He laughed easily. He walked slowly. He seemed to have all the time in the world. He listened as if you were the only person alive.”
While I don't recall anything else from the article, this quote struck me that day and still stands out to me.
That’s how I would boil it down. Laugh easily….at yourself. At the circumstances that come your way. Laugh when you say something silly. Laugh when you hear a clever saying. Laugh often. Laugh until you cry. Laugh so hard that your side aches. But laugh.
Proverbs 31:25 reads, “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
Laughter can dispel fear. Laughter can clear your mind. Laughter can ease the tension in a situation. Laughter can dispel the awkwardness left after that silly comment you made. Laughter not only helps you, but it is contagious to those around you. I submit that laughing easily can totally change your life. Try it! You won’t regret it.
Walk slowly….take your time. Don’t be in such a hurry to get everywhere. If you find yourself in a constant hurry, leave earlier. Take a step back and examine all that you have said “yes” to….perhaps you can make some adjustments so you can walk slowly. Life moves so fast. Even now I sit at Barnes & Noble typing this post and wondering how we are already more than 3 weeks into a new year. Time just flies. And you’re not going to find it slowing down for you. But you can slow down and enjoy the time that you have. Walking slowly gives you a chance to notice the flowers that are blooming. Walking slowly means you just might notice the old lady that could use your assistance with her groceries. Walking slowly gives you a chance to breathe deep and savor the moment. Walking slowly means you can join your pace to that of another person and walk this road together. Two are better than one.
Live fully…..“he seemed to have all the time in the world.” This was said of a man who was a professor, speaker, author, husband, father, board member, committee member, etc. This was a man with a very full plate. And yet it is said that “he seemed to have all the time in the world.” He lived fully present in the moment. He gave all of himself to whatever moment that he was in and whoever he was with. Oh that this could be said of me! I want to live fully.
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Let’s live the abundant life!!!
Listen deeply….pay attention when someone is talking to you. We’ve probably all had those moments when you are talking to someone and suddenly you realize that they aren’t listening to a word that you are saying. Perhaps they got distracted by their phone. Maybe someone else came in to the room and you can just tell that they want to go to that person instead of you. It can be hurtful to experience. Sometimes annoying. But always negative. Instead, choose to listen deeply to the person in front of you. Put away your phone. Focus. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. Listening deeply shows respect to those around you. Listening deeply tells people that you genuinely care about what they have to say. Listening deeply is a precious gift that you can give to other people.
So my friends, let me challenge you….just as I’m challenging myself….to laugh easily. Walk slowly. Live fully. Listen deeply. And so together we will live the abundant life.