May 9, 2018
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31
“Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones; Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy” (‘60’s term for cool.) Simon and Garfunkel “59th Street Bridge Song” 1966
A close friend and fellow child of the ‘60’s started singing this song after telling me about the perils of being in a hurry. I joined in and started reflecting on this song a bit more. Then later I saw a post from another friend on the topic of slowing down. So maybe Someone is telling me to address this with you.
Why slow down? As I was remembering that I had decided lately to make more intentional efforts not to rush about, I came up with three reasons to slow down.
First are the mental mistakes that come with not thinking through things before you do them. That should be obvious to anyone. But for an older person, or one whose mind is overwhelmed with multi-tasking, it is especially imperative to counter any age related decline in mental clarity and the busy-ness of life with a slower pace of thought and action.
Secondly, relationships take a back seat to our rushing about. It’s been a real joy when I have taken time to visit with someone in a situation where in the past I would have hurried on. Relationships built on deep conversations and casual small talk bring emotional rewards we can’t know until we slow down. People are just plain fascinating and entertaining when you get to know them.
Thirdly, slowing down allows time for the most intimate of all times: moments with God in prayer and meditation. Disciples whom Jesus had sent on mini-mission trips had returned to tell him about their experiences. No doubt, there was stress related to this, since Jesus calls them away for solitude and rest. In fact, He Himself modeled that often by going into seclusion for prayer.
Slowing down to talk to God helps us remember our dependency upon His grace and guidance. Jesus, who died and rose from the dead to lift our burdens of sin and shame, invites us to come to Him for rest. Slowing down to rest is good. Slowing down to rest in Jesus is far, far better.