COLUMN: When slow is awesome

From the moment we feel the synapses of our brains beginning to connect the dots of our day until we lay our weary head back down on the pillow, we move from one event to the next. I’m blessed because my days are full of people that I care deeply about. I spend my mornings helping members of the church and community and my afternoons visiting members that don’t get out any longer. Later I’ll spend the evening with my wife and our three dogs exploring the neighborhood or a local trail. In between I find time to read my Bible, exercise and pray.

In our world, important and successful people are always busy and rushing from one activity to the next. Nobody wants to be known as slow any longer. That’s a tragedy. Since the creation of the world God designed our days, weeks, months and years so that we could slow down and rest. He created the sun to “go down” so that we could lay down. He created the Sabbath Day so that we would take a day off every week. He created festivals so that we could take special days and even weeks to rest. He even created the Sabbath year and Jubilee year for rest.

But in our wisdom, we reordered God’s world so that we could work through the night and go shopping 24 hours a day seven days a week even on Christmas and Easter. Here’s why that is so tragic. Periods of rest invite us into a world we would miss otherwise. Last year I walked from Burkeville to Farmville on the High Bridge Trail. I saw a world I had never seen before because I had always zipped by on my bicycle. But when I slowed down it was right in front of my eyes.

In Psalm 46 we hear of the busyness of our world – mountains tremble, waters roar and foam, nations rage, and kingdoms totter. That sounds like the world we live in! In verse ten God invites us into a different world with these words, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Busy people will miss the rainbow that God put in the sky (Genesis 9:13), the sparrow that God upholds (Matthew 10:29), the rain that He waters the earth with (Isaiah 55:10), the refuge He gives the rock badger (Psalm 104:18) and the Savior who rises to give us new life everyday. When we slow down and reflect on God’s Word we allow the Word of God “to dwell in us richly” (Colossians 3:16) and it brings a whole new world into view. God is at work all around us every day and He invites us to slow down and experience the fullness of joy that is found only in His presence. Summer is one of those opportunities. I hope you have a slow August!

REV. MATTHEW SORENSON is the pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church. He can be reached at pastor@stjohnsfarmville.org.

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