Looking back on my recent trip, I reflect on the time it took. When I add up the time I spent doing this, that, or the other, it does not seem like it should have taken as long as it did! Basel is a great example. It was a simple mission. We did not deviate from our plan. While there were a few surprises along the way, there were no obstacles. Given that we are talking about two meetings and one transaction with a few steps, one could easily conclude that the process would be straightforward. One might also anticipate that everything could be accomplished in an hour or so. Even as things unfolded in a logical manner, the process took far longer than I anticipated. Fortunately, we had allowed lots of extra time. In the end, we just had enough.
Life can unfold in a variety of ways. Basel reminds me that life has its own pace. It is usually slower than I anticipate. Even with my attempts to speed things up, working in advance, pushing hard in the moment, and creating a sense of urgency, life often proceeds at a pace that it best called its own. I can rush, but life unfolds relentlessly on its own terms. I can be frustrated; life does not seem to mind or care. I can even enlist others in my cause; things still move in their own time.
Basel reminds me that it is good to take time for the stuff of living. I am not the first to embrace something that is obvious. Paul notes that “the next day we tied up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We lingered there several days.” (Acts 16.12) There was a sense of purpose and intent. There was time for relationships to unfold. There is a fullness found by being in the moment.
I find myself savoring each moment. Great friends, awesome times, and an energy that are available, even today.