Have you ever tried to slow down your life? Slow down your eating, drinking, walking, working, resting? Something recently made me try. It turns out really cool.
Slowing down helps you to see what you otherwise don’t notice. A few days ago I was waiting for a bus fidgeting and fretting over the long wait – 10 minutes it was. Then a thought popped into my head: why are you in hurry? I took a deep breath and started looking around. It was a quiet Saturday morning in Akademgorodok. Two old ladies were chattering on a bench nearby, the tops of birch-trees, still leafless, were waving softly in the breeze lit by the morning sun. A girl gave up her seat in a taxi-van. My heart grew warm – there was so much happening around me which I could have missed!
Slowing down helps you to be thankful for what is and stop grabbing for what isn’t. When you slow down, life gets revealed in its nuances, you start seeing people’s faces and notice gifts under the cover of circumstances. You start seeing what is vs. what may be. Your focus gets shifted to the ALREADY. It’s “the manna principle”. You can collect the manna just for today, tomorrow’s manna will rot. Look at what you have today.
Slowing down helps you to stop worrying about the future. I have noticed that I get anxious about the future when I try to imagine what it will be like. And God is not in this picture somehow. My mind just can’t depict the future with God in it. Slowing down helps me to say: “Don’t jump to conclusions just yet. You are fine today and you just can’t predict what will be tomorrow.” Then my mind goes back to the manna I already have. “Tomorrow will take care of itself.”
Slowing down encourages trust in God. When you slow down you simply have to answer a question: “Who in the world is gonna do this and that if you don’t?” If I don’t expedite the matter who will? The answer is obvious – God. When you stop controlling life God starts bringing the pieces together in His unfathomable ways. “In the morning…to Thee I will look up”. We can’t predict the future. It’s unpredictable like weather in London. Slowing down is resting in God and having Sabbath every day.
Slowing down is a way to celebrate – every day. When you slow down you start noticing gifts all around you and the celebration begins. Even though you seem kind of “passive” you are not idle – feasting is the most serious matter in the world. It is in this seeming “passivity” that the creative spirit reveals itself most readily. Even now as I am typing, every word flows out on the page slowly but deliberately and every word is a feast of meaning. I am also doing a legal text translation, in parallel. What a nice little phrase: “We are requesting your courtesies…”. I wish someone had requested my courtesies. I wonder if it should involve taking bows? That would be fun.
Every day is full of God’s gifts, I wonder what’s coming next? Never know. When you are not in a hurry you are never late. When you don’t chase after life it will keep surprising you. We must have been created just for that because it’s so much fun.