Last Saturday, Misty and I went to a concert to Cumberland Caverns to celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed a concert by Matt Maher, one of our favorite Christian musicians.
It was more enjoyable than our last visit to Cumberland Caverns.
In the fall of 1995, Misty and I were helping a youth ministry in Nashville. We loved being with the teens and were good friends with the youth minister and his wife. This was a busy season in our lives. Misty was traveling as an admissions recruiter for Lipscomb. I was an auditor for KPMG and was on the road to east Tennessee and Alabama a significant part of the time. Life was hectic and crazy. A trip to Cumberland Caverns was announced and Misty and I signed up as chaperones. We didn’t read the bulletin announcement. We didn’t pick up the information sheet about the trip. We just showed up in the parking lot on a Friday afternoon.
As people arrived in the parking lot, we noticed sleeping bags and overnight bags. The trip was an overnight stay in the cave. We had no idea. We weren’t prepared. We hadn’t paid attention to the details because we were too busy. We had allowed life to get too hectic. This was our mistake. We didn’t leave. We didn’t make an excuse for not going. We got on the bus, borrowed a couple of extra pillows and some rather thin blankets and slept on the cave floor. It was the coldest and most miserable night of sleep in our entire lives. The caverns were beautiful. The sleep wasn’t.
Life can get busy. We can find ourselves running in what seems like a hundred different directions. We can get so busy that we ignore or overlook important details, and even worse, important people in our lives. We can’t let our lives get so busy that we miss out on the truly important people, events and other priorities in our lives. We weren’t designed to live at such a frantic pace.
If you find yourself living at a frantic pace, reflect upon what can change. What responsibilities can be given to others? What activities or events can you say “no” to? What needs to leave your schedule in order for you to focus upon your faith, your family, your friends and the other aspects of your life that you value the most? Only you control your schedule. What do you need to change?
The night in the cave was a lesson learned. We never showed up unprepared for a youth event again. We learned that we had to slow down in order to be prepared for what mattered to us. We had to slow down to enjoy the things we wanted to enjoy. We had to slow down to allow our hearts and minds to be fully present. A cold night in a cave will teach you such things.
If you are running too fast right now, pray for wisdom and discernment. Review your schedule and life and make the changes you need to make to live the best life that you can for the glory of God and for the benefit of your family and friends.