People complain sometimes that life moves too fast. Days go by without us noticing, and then it’s weeks months and years. God is always present in more ways than one so I have been doing an experiment to try to always be aware of God’s presence with me at all times, and thus to always live in the present moment. To “seize the day” as it were. I want my tombstone to read, ” he lived each day of his life.” I can’t say I’ve been particularly successful but I think it is a worthy life goal. Part of this experiment requires that I slow down. I’ve been reminded of this in a few different ways lately.
My parents are living on the west coast with us for a few months again this winter. They are in their 70’s. My mom has a heart condition and my dad has bad knees and arthritis and so their daily activities are very simple. If they do one thing a day that is about enough. They appreciate the opportunity to sit down and visit. Why do we have to try to do so much? We have all our gadgets to try and be as efficient as possible with our time so we can accomplish more in less time. Maybe we can learn something from the wisdom of the aged.
Last week I read a great article in Leadership Journal on “slow church.” There has been a movement afoot in regards to “slow food” in response to “fast food” and now it has come to church as well. Slow food means we wait patiently as we go out to the garden to pick the herbs and vegetables, wash them, cut them up, and cook them as opposed to grabbing a prepared meal and sticking it in a microwave for a few minutes. Slow church is also more about depth and relationships than productivity and efficiency. God is at work and we are called to notice and participate as we are able. It doesn’t depend on us.
I discovered a new musical artist recently: Carrie Newcomer. She has been singing and recording for more than a decade but I had never heard of her until last month. I have been missing something! Her music is pretty standard folk female vocalist with a guitar or a banjo [which I like!], but her lyrics are profound! She sings of ordinary days with a depth of wonder and spiritual insight. The first song on the album is “The Speed of Soul.”
One subject line, one click away / But at the end of the day / I couldn’t even say / the things that I had done / I spent the morning sweeping floors / I didn’t want much more / than to do just one thing at a time / and call it mine… Come back home, come home / we’re gathering the crumbs and the stones /been traveling faster than our souls /can go.
The liner notes say the song is based on a Native American saying, “You should never travel further in a day than your soul can travel.” Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
Slow down don’t move so fast. Life is a twinkle, make each moment last.