I need to start paying attention to those traffic signs that say, "Slow." I need to slow down my driving and my living.
It's time for me to join the Slow Movement.
There's the Slow Food Movement--people who are buying fresh produce grown near them, cooking meals at home--sometimes with their friends sharing the preparation; and then savoring every bite of the meal.
There might even be a Slow Reading Movement emerging. On National Public Radio one morning, I heard Irish poet and novelist Nick Laird say that he'd been reading Dr. Samuel Johnson lately. Johnson's 18th century prose--elegant and complex--made Laird stop and savor every word of it.
Laird said this slow, careful approach to reading literature contrasted with the modern tendency to gobble up every word of text as fast as we can.
And there ought to be a Slow Spirituality Movement--spirituality being our daily ways of relating to God's Holy Spirit in us.
I often find myself rushing through my daily prayers and Scripture reading, my centering prayer time each day, my journal writing, even rushing through my leading of worship at church. (I sometimes peek at my watch during the Holy Eucharist.)
Too often, I rush my relationship with God--but God never rushes His relationship with me. God always takes time with me and for me.
Like an attentive, loving parent, God's always right there--listening to me, comforting me, directing me, strengthening me, perhaps even saying, "Ken, what's the rush? We have all the time in the world. In this life and in the life to come."
As 21st Century people, we're all in too much of a hurry (it's true for our children, too.), And we have the hypertension, the heart disease, addictions, depression, and anxiety disorder to prove it.
We need to take time and enjoy whatever we're doing as fully as possible. Slowing down helps us experience that more abundant life that Jesus offers us.
So, the next time you're rushing through dinner, speeding through that yellow light, glancing at your watch during the Holy Eucharist, skipping your daily prayers and Scripture reading because you don't have time, look.
See it? That sign--from God--that says, "Slow." Pay attention to it.