The art of slowing down

When you drive through a construction zone you’re bound to see this sign: “Slow Down”

But what if instead of referring to the speed of your vehicle it was referring to the speed of your life?

What if it was a message from God? ‘Hey you, yes YOU: Slow Down.’

The problem with speed, hyper-busyness and bustling through life is that you miss things because you’re rushing past them. Beauty turns to blur.

As I type this I’m mentally agreeing with this idea of slowing down, doing less, and smelling the proverbial roses. But to be honest, I really struggle with it. I’m a part of a very active church, have a growing family, and have a bunch of things that I like (and need) to do. How can I slow down when my to-do list is so long!!

Since I’m a very practical person, let me suggest something very practical: Slowly recite biblical wisdom to beat back your mental craziness.

Here’s what I mean.

Last week I had a frantic day, and in the afternoon I had to walk to my kids’ school to pick them up. I was feeling frazzled. So I left 3 minutes earlier… but walked slower.

As I walked, I repeated a verse of the Bible to myself. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” It’s John the Baptist talking about Jesus in John 3:30.

I said one word for every four steps.  “He… must… increase… but… I… must… decrease…”

It totally turned my brain space around. It slowed me down, even as I worked my way through a crazy day. The reason it worked is because (a) it’s biblical, (b) it reminded me to prioritize Jesus over my own selfish pursuits, and (c) it physically calmed me down.

Why don’t you give it a try? Maybe on a walk. Or maybe while driving. Maybe folding laundry, or maybe just lying on the couch.

“He… must… increase… but… I… must… decrease…”

Slowly recite biblical wisdom to beat back your mental craziness.

By Matthew Ruttan


One thought on “The art of slowing down

  1. It is healthy for everyone to allow 2 hours a day called”Me Time”. Upon spending that time with nature is regenerating and healing for you. This is not selfish but allowing nature to regenerate your battery. This is especially true for women whom feel that everything has to be done. My father used to wake in the mornings at 5:30 and spend 2 hours in the barn to witness the rising of the day, then he is ready to take on the day. He used to tell us as kids that he could feel God when the birds would sing. Perhaps explains why camping is so healthy; fresh air, quiet, birds, bugs, and trees. Nature is a messenger, pay attention to the signs of nature when you walk. Simple therapy, effective. Now, take on your day with grace!


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