What a simple balloon can help us learn….
I’ve always struggled a little with slowing down. While I have always been able to acknowledge my need to decrease my pace and take time to enjoy the simple things a bit more, I have a hard time actually putting a plan into place to make it happen.
As moms and dads we worry the important stuff is going by too fast. Sure we cheer, but we also cringe as the kids start meeting and passing the milestones. Conversations take place every day between moms and dads that speak of the swift pace we are against, “I can’t believe he is already two years old,” “Ugggg… she starts middle school next year,” and for me last year….. “I cant believe I have a child who is getting married!!” It is part of human nature…we want time to slow down so we can savor it all and be a part of every little second. We watch time fly by and we feel trapped in a need to do better, be better and live better, yet worry less, have less, and compare less. It’s an easy cycle to get into and a hard cycle to get out of….
While we engage in these conversations regularly and pay lip service to our need, our lives continue on at a fast and furious pace. We don’t really know how to reduce our speed and then continue on at that reduced speed. We can feel we are doing it wrong, we can feel guilty and we can feel overwhelmed…sure we have moments of balance but we are experts at keeping the guilt that accompanies a swift lifestyle close by, so we beat ourselves up with it when we need it.
However sometimes God puts moments in our lives that allow us to know, its not out of reach. We can slow down, and life will not alter or stop because we did. Moments that make all the things we worry we are doing wrong melt away and we experience simple bliss.
When we were in Mexico, there was a part of the night of the Gala that this became blissfully easy to do for about an hour. The magic of a balloon is what caught my attention most that night. Every level of ability was present in this room. There was glitz and glamour, music and famous characters. There was food, cookies, cake and all the soda you could drink. It was an extravagant magical night, yet we all came together over a simple balloon.
While we spoke different languages and could not understand most, if any, of what each other was saying, it was when we stepped on the dance floor and played with a blown up by mouth balloon, the magic happened. That silly little balloon made us all the same. English, Spanish, able bodied, in a wheel chair, autistic, blind, etc… we all could play and help each other play with that silly old balloon. The laughter was infectious and the love was apparent. The smiles were so big that they started to hurt the sides of your cheeks. People who had been sitting on the sidelines slowly and apprehensively began to trickle out onto the dance floor and kids who had been clinging to their moms let go and were chasing it around.
So simple and yet so blissful. Isn’t this how God intended our lives to be? Simply loving Him and letting Him create a need in you that yearns for simple connection with His creation. That balloon solidified for me the reality that we are all more alike than different and we are all more in need of the simple beautiful love that Christ shows to us in the small details. 1 John 2:17 tells us “the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” He is telling us in this passage that when our desires get too intense, we should keep our eyes on the prize. All of this life is temporary and focusing too narrowly on living this life totally perfect moves you away from a closeness to Christ.
Whether it is providing meaningful and fun experiences for our families or just simply holding on tight to keep up, we will continue to worry about what we are missing. It is in these moments that we need to focus our attention on those things that remind us of the simpleness that God has built into our surroundings. If we need to do anything better or more efficient it is this….watch for what GOD puts in our lives that reminds us to slow down and appreciate the people around us!