On the way to Bible study Monday, we were delayed. Not by traffic. Not by an accident ahead of us on the highway. Not by construction. It was a cattle drive. No kidding. This is not unusual in our part of the country; but there are lots of folks out there who think this kind of thing only happens in old western movies. Not so.
This was a herd of two year olds, bawling and complaining just about as much as the drivers were grumbling about the game of “hurry up and wait” that they were having to endure enroute to their busy day.
We don’t handle waiting very well in our society, do we? Everything it seems is “instant” and “fast”. Remote controls, microwaves, expressways, electronic scanners, quick oats, computers, ATM’s… we have become so conditioned to convenience and speed that waiting–slowing down–can actually be stressful!
But this is one of the reasons we love the west. We are front porch kind of folk. “Come on in and set a spell” kind of people. The kind who like to drive down a lonesome two-track on a Saturday morning, just to see where it goes. I’d much rather be in the country, where I have also been delayed by a large moose in my carport (that time on the way to choir practice) than have to suffer the effects of hustle and bustle.
I love the ease with which I can “be still and know” here. We are immeasurably blessed to have our kids know what it is to roam our small acreage catching crickets, and going for walks to visit the neighbors or some horses down our dirt road.
Though you may not have this idyllic (for us, anyway) opportunity, you would benefit in slowing down a bit from time to time. It is good for the soul. Hang out with a toddler for an afternoon, and rediscover all the fascinating things that are closer to the ground than you’ve been in years. =) Determine that some Saturday morning soon you are going to do nothing but read. Take the kids for a walk to collect fall leaves. For that matter, just decide to walk somewhere (that is doable) instead of driving. Wash your sheets and let them flap in the breeze for the fun (and freshness) of it. Make supper “from scratch”. Okay, how about just making it somehow, instead of going through the drive-thru.
Slowing down means more time for thought. Folks seemed to think more deeply about spiritual things years ago…just look at the kind of things they wrote. I wonder if part of the reason was that there was simply more time for thinking. While you are kneading dough, wringing out clothes, walking here or there, picking berries. Don’t get me wrong, I love my appliances; but not because they allow me to cram more into the space of a day. They free me up to do what I really want to do.
Pick one way to slow down tomorrow (or today, if it is not already spent). Revel in the extra moments. Use them to pay attention to details (smelling the tang of the leaves, enjoying the sun on your face, relishing a child’s sticky hand in yours) that normally blur by in busyness. And thank the Lord for His incomprehensible ability to sustain everything and all of us, and still have “time” to meet us in the quietness.