That is what I asked my daughters. They had accompanied me on a mission, which we had fairly efficiently accomplished, yet, here in front of us was a place I'd never explored. And when time is (at least partly) your own, what better way is there to spend it than to explore? Right?
They (perhaps a bit grudgingly) obliged, and what followed was an hour (did we really spend that long?) of laughter and conversation and gift-buying and just general fun. In a week of planned and scheduled stops and outings, it was a completely unscheduled piece that could turn out to be one of our most memorable.
It was not an earth-shattering place. It was simply a suburban store full of miscellany, plunked in the middle of familiar and unfamiliar destinations. And yet, our stop there was definitely a high point.
And maybe that is a little like life. We spend so much time making and executing plans, doing the things we're supposed to, on the schedule we've set up. We set expectations, and we try our best to meet them. We bemoan the undone and wish we could change the things that didn't go our way. And yet, often, we find joy in the things unplanned, in the places not on our schedule, in the accomplishments we never even expected. Those times when we stop--just for a minute--can turn out to be some of our best, better than all the things we planned for and worked toward and expected of ourselves.
So, the next time you're wondering if it's okay to stop, just for a minute, don't spend too long asking. That minute may be be the best one (or the best start of an hour) you've ever spent.