Not so fast

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

In the business world you often have to act fast. But sometimes the best way to get things done effectively, especially when it involves making critical decisions, is to slooooow down, take time out … wait.

I've found that this waiting takes practice, because often there's a drive to just get the job done no matter what. Waiting takes the kind of practice that results from prayer - a way of seeing things spiritually. My mental starting point in meeting the day-to-day challenge of decisionmaking and deadlines is God, the supreme and only power and presence of the universe - divine Mind. You and I are the very expression of the one Mind's intelligent and graceful movement, rhythm, pace, and timing.

I've been learning how important it is to turn in prayer to Mind for help. I don't believe that my good ideas, my intuition, precision, thoroughness, judgment, quick thinking, and resourcefulness come from a fleshly brain. The source of these and other good qualities is divine Spirit. And I'm learning that this infinite source can be trusted for guidance in every situation.

One of the practical things that I've come up with as a result of seeing things from a spiritual perspective is to wait a bit before making an important decision (including, for example, sending an important e-mail).

It occurred to me that one lesson in the the Bible story about Jonah could be that he spent three days to great advantage in the whale's belly. He emerged from that confinement renewed and safe. And Jesus waited a few days after he heard that his friend Lazarus had died before going to raise him from the grave. So I figured that the same principle might help me in my far less momentous life-challenges. And it has.

A waiting period gives me time for reflection. For example, I try to wait a few days before submitting completed projects. It gives me time to hear what else God, divine intelligence, has to say after I think it's done. One of two things happens: either I feel greater assurance that the project is just right the way it is, or I feel God's direction and an intuitive impulsion that specific adjustments are required.

It's a way to realize the excellence I hope for: "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:4).

Here's an example. Several years ago I was asked to write an article for a major magazine. I almost said no, because it didn't strike me that I had the necessary expertise. But I felt the divine impulse clearly saying, "Not so fast … wait." Three days later it hit me. I saw a way to tackle the project, and I understood the special perspective that I could bring. Moreover, I felt Mind's precise timing throughout the project's duration. Waiting a few days before submitting the final copy prevented me from missing late-breaking developments. Writing that article ended up benefiting me in my career and my spiritual growth.

Charles Darwin withheld publication of "The Origin of Species" for 14 years. Harriet Beecher Stowe waited a month before submitting "Uncle Tom's Cabin" for publication. I waited three weeks before submitting this article. Sure, there are times when I can't wait even a few minutes in order to do what's required on time. But I'm finding that happening less and less. I think it's because I've been praying to see practical evidence of the fact that everyone is under God's unhurried direction.

So, whether you wait three minutes or thirty days before plowing ahead, the important thing is to listen to what divine Mind wants you to do. It's the best way to time your moves in a way that will benefit everyone involved.

Beholding the infinite

tasks of truth, we pause, -

wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and

conception unconfined

is winged to reach

the divine glory.

Mary Baker Eddy

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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