Friday, April 03, 2009

Canal View

During our last full day in Amsterdam, our team took a canal boat tour of the city. I took a ton of photos, and I felt like this one was particularly blogworthy. (It continues some of my thoughts on time).

This week, I had every intention of catching up my blog, but I found myself constantly distracted. There just seems to be SO MUCH going on at any moment in my life. I know I'm not alone in that feeling--we all live pretty busy lives it seems . . .

Monday I celebrated my birthday, but unfortunately I haven't really had time to reflect on it. I'd like to take some time over the next few days to think about my life, my goals, and my plans for the year, but we'll see if time is on my side.

I guess it's all a matter of priority though isn't it? Today, I made a commitment to myself to sleep in, to spend more time in prayer, and to move slowly and deliberately through the day instead of in a flurry.

How does that relate to the photo above? In the canal boat, we were a captive audience. We had purposed to go on the ride, and we had no choice but to sit patiently until the ride was over. I couldn't speed the driver up, and really I wouldn't have wanted to. How on earth could I enjoy anything if I went through it too fast.

Even during this time of so much going on, I'm tempted to rush through it and be done with it, but I feel like by doing so, I would be cheating myself of many lessons that could be learned. I think that's the case with any trial. We want to push through it quickly because it is exhausting and painful and time consuming, but when we push through too quickly we fail to learn and grow and benefit fully from the trial--and so it comes again.

The year on the canal struck me--a bridge was built over this canal in 1728. That was a long time ago. It probably wasn't built too fast. Maybe it was just completed in 1728, but took several years prior to establish a solid foundation. And because of it's solid foundation, I could travel under it nearly 300 years later. That's building for endurance.

Often times, I think we are tempted to not build for endurance. I think we are tempted toward quick fixes, sugar highs, and band-aids over lasting solutions that stand the test of time.

Deep down, we all want the lasting solution, but the effort is not easy. It's challenging to build something that will last 300 years, or even 3 years.

Here's a little tid bit about the canal boat tour too. The captain told us that the water in the canals was pretty nasty. There were house boats all along the canals in which people lived. Their sewage went into the canals. So you want a sturdy vessel to navigate the waters, and if you are going to build a bridge, you want to make sure it will endure. There is a lot of refuse that we have to navigate through in this life. Make sure you have a sturdy vessel and build lasting structures to keep you from swimming in the mess.

Have a great weekend, and I look forward to writing more soon.

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