Life is a rat race, and even the animal kingdom is affected. Three snails mugged a turtle. When the turtle was asked what the muggers looked like he said, “I don’t know; it all happened so fast.”
The theme of today is “do more and do it faster.” A restaurant promises lunch in 15 minutes or it will be free. An emergency room promises treatment in 20 minutes or it will be free. Our world is into speed. Everyone has this problem. I knew our society was in trouble when I saw a lady get on the plane and put a laptop in her lap and her child in the overhead baggage compartment. I am going to slow down. I’m going to relax. I’m actually going to relax better and faster. I’m taking relaxation to the next level! Sorry — I got carried away.
I’ve decided to take my mother’s advice. If she has said it once, she has said it a thousand times: “Charles Shelby, be still.” When she used my middle name, I knew it was important.
I’m not saying to drop everything. There is a season of accomplishment, but there is also a season of rest and there is a season of evaluation. Understand that five times zero is still zero. Some things are not worth doing even if you can do them five times faster. So I threw away my to-do list. Maybe if it’s not important enough to remember, it may not be important enough to do. I turned off my computer and took a golf lesson.
My golf teacher said, “It’s no wonder you don’t have any power. Your backswing is too fast. I got whiplash just watching it. A pause at the top is what gives you the power.” He was reflecting on what my mom said, “Charles Shelby, be still.” His emphasis was to be still at the top.
In the early days of aviation, a gutsy pilot accepted the challenge of flying around the world one day, as he was drifting through silent skies above the Atlantic Ocean, he heard an annoying sound in the electrical wiring. A rat climbed aboard and was inflicting potential damage to the plane’s electrical system with its razor sharp teeth. The pilot began to worry and anticipate his potential demise. Then he remembered that rats can live only in low altitudes. He flew his plane to the highest altitude that he and his plane could tolerate. He stayed at that altitude until the annoying sound stopped. Upon landing, he found a dead rat in his instrument panel.
The lesson is simple. Whether it is planes, golf, or life, take it to the top and pause. You will have more power, and all the ratty issues of life won’t seem so important.
Excerpted from Comic Belief by Charles Lowery. Used by permission. Dr. Lowery appears this Monday on LIFE Today.