Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

Slow Down

November 1, 2005

As I was walking to the Metro today, I had The Sermon on the Mount on my brain (as we’re putting together some stuff for Sunday) as well as a blog post that’s been haunting me. And I thought of something that I’ve heard several places before:

You must ruthlessly eliminate ‘hurry’ from your life.

Rushing up the hill, halfway to the station, I thought about the fixed things in my day (the walk, the train ride, the walk to the jobsite, the whole trip back) and the fact that I couldn’t ‘rush’ them. (Actually, a couple of months ago, I could have run to the station…) And I wondered exactly how hurry is so damaging. And I wondered exactly how a person could slow down and still survive.

Right in the middle of that, I realized that I had forgotten to bring the key to get into the house where I’m working. That I would need to turn right around, walk back home, and make this same trip again. Which I did, rather dispassionately.

It certainly was not the case that the whole rest of my day was filled with light and life, and I had a revelation from On High, and I accomplished more than ever before, and that I avoided some tragic accident with my detour. But I did notice that the leaves were turning, and I suppose that’s something.

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2 Responses to “Slow Down”

  1. WMS says:

    funny, ever since I’ve read that post it’s put the beauty of the leaves on my mind as well. That’s something! I think the fear in me of not doing that is that I’ll miss an extra dollar… I’ll lose a job… I’ll be late somewhere. What am I afaid to miss? What am I afraid of? No longer being able to feed myself? Getting evicted? yes, all of the above… and then that question of trust… if God loves me so much why do I worry about food and store up in barns? Why do I set this pace of life here in DC? What are we teaching our children about mediation and calm and peace? How to crush the competition? Yea, that’s it! I think this poem says what I’m trying to say:

    NO ONE IN NUMBERS
    Can this pace of race really be right?
    When I get things done but I have no life?

    Do I exist merely to make business flow?
    Am I here to produce, achieve and go go go go?

    Should business be constantly whirling in my mind?
    Am I here to give money my ears, my eyes, my time?

    “Shut up, stop thinking, just keep up the pace.
    Keep producing and working and stay in the race,”

    For what? Something holy, lasting, eternal and fine?
    Is this why I’m here? To give business all my time?

    Am I just a number, no concern and no touch?
    Should I do what I’m told, no thoughts, don’t discuss?

    Am I only worth what I produce in a day?
    Is Business the Savior and Education The Way?

    Am I just a number, nothing more, nothing less?
    What if I reject this plan for high status?

    “Shut up, stop thinking, just keep up the pace!
    Keep producing and working and stay in the race,”

    Am I just a gear in a machine that competes?
    A horse running straight for that carrot of 2 weeks?

    Are there any higher things than ambition and money?
    What if I cared about people first, wouldn’t that rhyme?

  2. kate says:

    Maybe I’m repeating verbatim what Sonja already said — but something that Herr Bailey said long ago has stuck with me.
    It might’ve been for Lent, or just an exercise, but he tried to give himself a little more than enough time to get everywhere. So he didn’t get so huffy when people cut in front of him, or other traffic woes ensued. It gave him a lot more peace to know that he could let people merge without worrying about being late and stuff.
    I seem to have this disease where, if I’m 20 minutes from going somewhere, I try to pack 35 minutes of tasks into the time remaining. There just IS too much to do … how to change that. I don’t know. Because a lot of it is stuff that matters, eternally, like staying connected with people and stuff like that. Or making sure your family has clean laundry or groceries or … yeah.

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