I heard it as I was sitting with my spiritual director a little over six months ago. But he didn’t say it to me.
As my eyes were closed and I was reflecting on some of the things he and I had just talked about, I felt as if the small room we were in had expanded, stretched, and his chair was much further away from mine. As weird as it may sound, it seemed like Jesus was kneeling beside my chair. And that’s when I heard it, almost as a whisper, but clear as day:
Slow down. You aren’t going to miss anything.
I needed to hear nothing else. Those words in that moment were so significant for me, and still are. Not only in a physical slowing down kind of way, but also in an internal, mindful kind of way. Slowing down doesn’t mean I’ll miss out.
I can’t force every little thing in my life to slow down. I actually don’t have control over much. But I do have the ability to be slow internally.
Over the past couple of years the Lord has given me grace to do that. Two years ago I would have had no idea how to be slow and more peaceful on the inside. I would have thought it impossible, and probably would have been anxious and frustrated thinking about it.
The speed at which we experience life and its events isn’t totally up to us. The way in which we process it, enjoy it, enter into it, and are grateful for where we are is in our control. We can be slow, savoring life as it is, not complaining or worrying about how it isn’t.
In my experience it starts by admitting to God how I really feel, what I don’t like, what I wish was different. Then I have to come to a place of being open to Him, whatever He says or does or takes away or gives me.
It’s a process of God’s slow, up close work in me.
It’s not easy, but it’s worthwhile. And no one can really dictate what slow means for you. That’s between you and the Lord. If you look at His life you can see that everyone around Him tried to dictate how His life should’ve looked. But He didn’t give them too much airtime, because He was connected to the pace of His Father.
And I believe that’s worthwhile work in front each of us.