Slowing Down

We leave for vacation today.  We’re excited to go to Niagara Falls, Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia as we tour early American History. Yep—that’s right—even our vacations are riddled with home education. Our poor kids (luckily, they love it). We hope it will be a wonderful trip. There will be lots of driving, many tanks of gas, and great sites to see. The truth is, I wanted to take my wife to see Niagara Falls for our honeymoon, 18 years ago. The problem is we haven’t slowed down long enough to make it for the last 18 years. And that leads me to the reason I’m so excited to take this trip. We get to slow down.

We as a society don’t appreciate slowness. We want our food fast. Sitting at a table at a restaurant longer than our expected wait time is frustrating and brings out the worst in some of us. We believe God says, “Love your enemies”, just not if she is a slow waitress. We want our popcorn to pop faster than the two whole minutes we wait in front of the microwave. About the only place I know where we as humans are willing to wait is in lines at amusement parks. That has always been a sociological experiment waiting to happen, to try to understand why we are willing to wait 75 minutes to ride a 60-second joy ride, and are not willing to wait 10 minutes to gain an entire meal in front of us.

Why do we go so fast, so furiously, so constantly through life? What is so important in our lives that we must constantly rush? If you ask most people, they tell you they are in a hurry because they have other things to complete. These other things are also activities they will rush through so they can then get to other activities. We rarely stop and just think. We rarely slow down and concentrate on just one activity. We struggle to slow down our bodies, brains, or anything else. About the only thing that gets people to slow down these days is the TV. We will sit and watch a 3-hour football game, or a 2-hour movie, or a 30-minute sitcom. Let me tell you something. There are more important things for which you should slow down.

Slow down for worship—God deserves your concentration and focus. If you find yourself speeding through worship mentally so much that you cannot connect emotionally, you’ve not worshipped. You’ve wasted a few hours of your life pretending. Slow down and truly focus on God.

Slow down for your kids—They deserve your attention, and love, and compassion.

Slow down for your spouse—Don’t fit them in to a tight schedule. Build your schedule around them.  Make them the highlight of your day to day life.

Slow down for development—You will never become better by becoming busier. You will only be better if you slow down to read something that changes your life, like the Bible.

Slow down for prayer—Prayer can become more meaningful if you slow down and fully concentrate instead of fitting it in on the go. Nothing wrong with praying on the go, but pray when you stop also. God deserves to hear your voice. He wants you to open your heart to Him in prayer.

Slow down for a few minutes every day. Schedule it if you have to, but learn to ignore the busyness of life so that you can focus on the better things of life. And in your slow moment, read Luke 10. 38-42.