Every time I feel too busy to take a walk, enjoy reading a good book, crochet a new blanket, or watch an old episode of “I Love Lucy”, I remind myself that I need to slow down. If you’re moving too fast to enjoy the simple things in life, then so do you.
I’ve often wondered why we’re in such a hurry to get somewhere other than where we are. In the grocery store aisle, in traffic, at church, or waiting for our morning tea at Starbucks, we always seem to be tapping our feet and checking the time. Could it be that our culture worships speed? We sing the praises of instant communication, instant downloads, and same-day delivery as if they were miracles. We get upset at the slightest interruptions in our expectations of immediacy.
It’s hard to slow down when your surroundings are urging you to do otherwise. However, there is something to be gained by slowing down. Slowing down is an intentional choice. Rather than being forced to fit into a schedule or feeling the need to respond to someone’s demands, slowing down gives you the chance to choose how you are going to spend your time.
For me, slowing down is slow living. Slow living calls for a more intentional approach to life and rejects the idea that to be busy means you’re important. Slow living allows your brain to unwind and disconnect from the need to be constantly on the go. One of the things I love about Jesus is that he knew how to balance going fast and going slow. He was often busy but never hurried.
I’d like to invite you to take the Slow Down Challenge. If you’ve been rushing through life, this challenge is for you. Slow down and scale back. Resist the temptation to over-commit and overextend yourself.
I slowed down because I had to! It was a decision that life made for me. Thirty-two years ago, I gave birth to my oldest son, Steven. From him, I learned that there was no such thing as “rush.” His name should have had “slow” in it. No matter, how I tried to rush him, he would take his time. He was slow getting dressed, slow eating his food, slow cleaning up his room, and slow completing his homework. As it turned out, I realized that my hurriedness was not important to him. At five-years-old, his actions were saying, “Why are you rushing me along, if you are not legitimately in a hurry?” So, I began slowing down intentionally, for a creative reason, not just for Steven’s reasons. I became aware of the habit of rushing when it wasn’t really necessary.
As we get a break from work over the holiday weekend, slow down, pause and consciously dial back your pace. Most importantly, don’t let rushing become your default way of moving through your days, life’s too short. If you’re speeding through your life all the time, the odds are pretty good that you’ll rush right past the things that matter most.
Slow down. Your life’s pace matters.
Barbara Bryant is an author, motivational speaker and mentor. To learn more, visit barbarabryant.com.