This past season (from March - June) has been a more demanding time for me and I have sensed the need for this break; the need to slow down.
The poet John Milton once wrote, '"When I consider how my light is spent." He wrote these words as he was going blind; as he reflected on how he spent his time, his light.
So often we rush through our days and then days become weeks, weeks become months, months become years and then we find ourselves asking, "where has the time gone?" We live our lives in a 'time is money' culture, where value is attached to what we accomplish. We sprint through our days and often sacrifice what really matters on the altar of 'success'--family / health / our relationship with God. We come to the end of our days only to look back and realize we have nothing of lasting value to show for such a signficant sacrifce.
Hurry is the great enemy of our day. When we are hurried, it is impossible to fully embrace life, to live in the present. We are distacted and often pulled away from the things that are most important. When we slow down, we become more aware of the world around us; we engage with others in a more meaningful way, we are more in tune with our own thoughts and feelings and we are better positioned to live fully in the moment with our God. When we slow down, we allow ourselves as author James Bryan Smith writes "to be found, found by life and found by God."
Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
If I am to live the life God intends for me, I need to be connected to Him; hurry short circuits that connection. God never calls us, as Richard Foster has noted, "into a life of panting fevershiness."
We see in the life of Jesus a perfect model of slowing down and spending time with the Father and yet having time to accomplish all that was needed. Jesus was never in hurry!
Hurry is a state of mind, often driven by fear. When we learn to walk in step with God's Spirit we discover we can accomplish things quickly and effeciently but without having to hurry. We find ourselves in a rhythm with God and in a place where the Spirit can come alongside and strengthen and enable us. We find ourselves in that place where we feel more alive; able to enjoy the journey to which we have been called.
Robin Myers writes, "In every waking hour a sacred theater is in session, played out before an audience that is largely blind." Slowing down allows me to enjoy this sacred theater! I don't have to miss out on all that God has in store for me.
Authors Richard Baily and Joseph Carlson make this observation: "Life is really nothing more than a series of present moments--one right after the other--to be experienced...You are always living in this moment: will you live it present or absent?