Good photo from my friend Shana. She took this while out walking one day. The sign spoke to her heart and she realized she needed to continue to pace herself.
She works for a top fashion design company developing social media connection, sales, seasonal launch, and store design. To say she is busy is an understatement. However, if you track her life you’d notice she takes breaks, attempts to stay anchored in meaningful relationships, still has time to cook some amazing food and have fun.
Her picture reminds me to slow down, take my foot off the pedal. I discovered most of the trouble I find myself comes from acting in haste, not giving space to life stress situations and by reacting too quickly. An old term would be “I’m not holding my peace.” In order to hold my peace I have to slow down, push pause, distance myself from certain situations in order to gain some perspective before I speak, text, write on Facebook, or write a blog post.
I wrote a post a while ago venting my frustration, and the un-settled-ness I was feeling. Before I pushed the publish button, I had a slight check, and heard a whisper, “Don’t publish this.”
I didn’t listen. Yep, I was misunderstood, my tone offended, etc. etc. Within a day I deleted the post but the damage had done. Me stupid, me not humble, me reactionary. Me not pushing pause, me having brain freeze forgetting and realizing what is said in print can be misread, misunderstood, twisted, or used as future ammo.
The book of James has some real wisdom.
This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20 NASB)
Stephen, one of my friends, talked to me about this yesterday. He is forming some pretty good thoughts about moving, acting and responding to life situations from Presence / Peace and not reacting from emotion and defense. He thinks it’s always good to take a step back and to ask, “How should I respond to this?”
Slowing down on the inside and pushing pause, allows us to slow down enough to seek a higher wisdom, the wisdom from above that brings heaven to earth. My earth, my thinking, my emotions, my speaking, reflected by my response.
Notice the progression of wisdom from above:
But the wisdom from above is first pure,
full of mercy
and good fruits,
And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
(James 3:17-18 NASB)
It’s a great list to follow; to think upon. Hey, if you get four of the eight, and have peace You are heading in the right direction.
Slowing down also enables us to stop for the one. I’m intentionally walking slower, driving slower, attempting to be not as rushed, hurried or living from pressure.
Recently, I took my sister to the Greyhound bus station. We were in line, and had planned to arrive early in order to have time to spare. I noticed a young guy in front of us was attempting to process his ticket. He discovered he didn’t print out the ticket and had to have printed it out in order to give to the ticket lady to board the bus. Stress mounted as he asked the ticket lady where he could get the ticket printed out. She mentioned Office Depot was just down the street. He asked how long would it take to walk there. She said fifteen minutes. His bus left in thirty five minutes, I could feel the pressure mount. I stepped up and offered the guy a ride to Office Depot and back so he could catch his bus. He was shocked and relieved. You could sense his stress lifting.
We went to Office Depot, he printed his ticket from their computer and we headed back. When we returned he offered to pay me and asked me why I did this for him. I refused the cash and mentioned I have a life value. I often stop for the one. He was the one. He was more than grateful, and allowed me to pray and bless him. He caught his bus to Michigan. He going to help his girlfriend take care of her sick mom.
Slow, is good. Fast, maybe not so good.
Slow down, you move too fast;
You got to make the morning last;
Just kickin’ down the cobblestones,
Lookin’ for fun, and feelin’ groovy.