Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Slow Down

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones…’” (Luke 12:18, NIV 2011).

I took the morning off to carry my 90-year-old father to his medical appointment. I was blessed by the privilege to do so. My dad is a retired doctor and still quite bright, though somewhat forgetful. The experience was interesting for me and a bit frustrating. Though my father is a man of great dignity, wonderfully sweet and coherent, he was very slow at everything he did that morning. Signing his name at the front desk took five minutes. Putting his socks on after his exam took 10.

My frustration at my father’s speed of action tells me a lot more about myself than it tells me about him. Why in the world should I ever become frustrated over a few minutes of slowing down?
My experience with many doctors is that they share this same disease with me, best described in the lyrics sung by Alabama:

“I’m in a hurry to get things done; Oh, I rush and rush until life’s no fun. All I really gotta do is live and die. But, I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.”

It’s like someone stuck a screwdriver in our carburetors and turned up the gas feed. It’s like I’m six years old and someone fed me three Snickers just before bedtime.
We can’t stop the rushing that has become a part of us.
So what? We get more done this way.
On whose checklist?

For most of us, our checklists are so crowded that we cannot distinguish our entries from God’s. Some of us, especially me, need to throw a few things off our checklist and spend more time focusing on God’s entries. God’s entries often involve relationships, with Him and with others. Relationships always take time, if we are to do them well.

What do I need to do less of so that I may slow down and do well the relationships that God has placed in my life?
It may not be that senior adults slow down because they are deteriorating. It may be that they slow down because they finally got it right.

Dear God,
Let me slow down, so that I may not miss seeing you as I run by.

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