You Might Want to Slow Down

Years ago, my brother had me cracking up over something that’s at once humorous, sad, and true about folks being in such a hurry these days. He was dashing about to depict the frantic rush people are in: “Hurry up and go to work! Hurry up and go back home! Hurry up and have kids! Hurry up and have some fun! Hurry up and go back to work! Hurry up and go to bed! Hurry up and die!”

Hey, I have nothing against a fast-paced society and up-tempo people. I’m not a big fan of idleness, laziness, lethargy, or apathy. I think anyone with a real passion and a goal to accomplish something substantial has to have a good get-up-and-go on the inside.

However, I am also not a fan of being in a hurry for the sake of being in a hurry, or rushing through life in fear of running out of time. The Bible says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, KJV). There’s a time to work, and a time to take it easy. God even made a Sabbath to give folks a day to rest (Mark 2:27). When you’ve been diligent about putting your work in, it’s okay to stop, breathe, and recreate. Planet Earth won’t stop spinning while you relax. Rest is healthy and needful.

And do NOT be fooled into thinking that no one has an attention span longer than five minutes for anything these days. I know that advertising, pitching, and selling (and tweeting) can pretty much be about “grab ’em quick, hook ’em in, chew ’em up, spit ’em out,” but your life is not a television ad or a social networking news feed or timeline. (At least, I hope you haven’t let your life become that.) There’s a time, place, and need for what’s quick and snappy, and there’s still also a time, place, and need for what’s contemplative and fulfilling.

When recently talking about novels with my brother, I agreed with him when he said, “I just don’t believe everything has to be short.” Sometimes I want a simple story I can finish in a day or two, and other times I want a nice, heavy 500-1000 page bundle of thought in English that’s going to tell me something thick. I’m all for people still writing long books, and I don’t buy into the thought that no one wants to read lengthy literature anymore. (If that’s the case, then numerous timeless literary classics from around the world, including the ones in my personal library, are doomed.)

My main point is, you don’t have to be in a huge rush all the time, and don’t be fooled into thinking everyone around you wants you to be. Don’t rush through all of your life moments. Don’t rush through your experiences with people, especially your loved ones. Don’t rush away from looking your family members and friends in the eye. Don’t live in constant fear of immediately losing people’s attention, and don’t be in such a hurry that you can’t give people yours.

If you’re running through life in a hectic blur, you might want to slow down.


2 thoughts on “You Might Want to Slow Down

  1. Eagle-Eyed Editor says:

    Isn’t it strange how time seems to speed up or slow down depending upon what you’re doing? There’s “waiting-in-line” time (extra slow), “having a good time at a celebration” time (extra fast), “getting through a swamped workday” time (fast) and “waiting until a little kid finishes walking to you” time (slow but adorable).

    You make a valid point though. We should all take at least a few moments during the day to just relax and enjoy.


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