Recently I have been subbing for a friend on a bowling league. I have a tendency to hurl the ball down the lane with gusto. I am actually a fair bowler, but I get rushed sometimes, and other times I can get frustrated and impatient with myself. The advice from the wise older bowler, who also had to remember this point, “slow down”.
The first night, before this advice, I bowled slow, but it was a strained and restrained slow. It was a restricted, constricted, and stifling slow. At the end of the night I was sore, and just as frustrated as ever. I had bowled slow, but it was not a natural slow. It was forced.
I was given the advice to slow down the most recent time. I resisted this notion at first. I had tried it before after all, and it made things worse. I was miserable, and I bowled poorly to boot. I eventually gave it a shot, but I decided that this time had to be different. I needed it to flow, to be natural, to be intentional, but relaxing. After all what else is recreation for? It worked! I wasn’t great, but I was consistent, and I enjoyed what I was doing.
Life can leave us feeling rushed and frustrated too. We can begin to just go to work, just go to church, just get this done, or just get that done. We can find that life becomes a series of tasks to get done in as little time as possible, and when things get in our way, or slow our progress, we get frustrated and angry. Slowing down is a foreign concept to us. We may well have forgotten what it means to slow down. It is an art after all, and one that we need to relearn.
Just as in weight lifting, we need to remember to breathe. Just like in putting, we need to learn how to take our time, and be intentional. Just like threading a needle, we need to learn patience. Life presents us with a myriad of things that demand time and effort from us, but they also demand that we slow down and be intentional. They bid us to enjoy them, and with them life. If we could learn the art of slowing down, perhaps we could learn how to enjoy life, and be productive at the same time.
God has granted us blessings abundantly in every area of our lives, but our rushed, hectic, and frustrated existence often causes us to over look these blessings. Maybe we could start by taking a breathe, and thanking God for it. Eventually we might be able to praise God that every action we do is possible because He causes us to have life. He sustains us. With the enjoyment, and thankfulness of each moment we can begin to appreciate how blessed we are. This can only happen if we begin to train ourselves to slow down, to still our soul, and know how great God truly is.
Until next time, may God grant you rest and peace in Him, may He help you to slow down and walk with Him, instead of running through life.