“Fast is busy, controlling, aggressive, hurried. Slow is the opposite: calm, careful, receptive, still, patient, reflective. It is about making real meaningful connections—with people, culture, work, food, everything.” Carl Honoré
Some of you know I am a seminary student. This past quarter, along with an incredibly hard theology class that caused my grey matter to explode- I took a sweet class on community. In this class, I realized how my home is a tool to provide safety, comfort, and acceptance. A place where family lingers and strangers feel loved.
I especially find this to be true the week between Christmas and New Years. A switch occurs in my pace. It turns from busy, hurried, stressed, controlling to calm, still, and unhurried. My family lives in our PJs. We watch movies, complete puzzles, and enjoy long meals with sweet crazy conversation. I move much slower. (Side Note: Being run over by a car, leaving you with an incredibly bruised foot helps one to slow down as well.)
I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions- if I am honest, I am annoyed with the increased numbers at the gym in January. But this year, I want to move slower- I love this quote from Carl Honoré best selling author on slowness. I want to make meaningful connections with people, culture and God. As a Christian, I believe in the Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit in One. There is much discussion over the Trinity as communion which is this beautiful image of the three persons in constant relationship. I started to think about a fast God- can you even imagine?
Father: Hey Jesus, could you hurry up and change that wine to water- chop, chop!
Holy Spirit: We have to get to John the Baptist ASAP so we can hurry to pick some disciples.
Jesus: BTW why did it take us a full 7 days to create the world? Did we need that rest?
Never! The communion of the Godhead is everything slow- calm, still, receptive and patient.
So, here is the process I am taking to prepare for slowness in 2019.
1. Plan & Prepare
We must be intentionally slow. Otherwise, it is like tubing on a river. At first, I am slowly moving, enjoying the cool breeze, chatting with my friend, and feeling the warm sun. Then suddenly I hit rapids-the river grabs me, white-knuckled, I speed down the river, screaming and praying to just make it to 2020.
2. Look at the Calendar
I am a paper planner gal. Some might say obsessed- picking a planner took more thought
than choosing a seminary. I opened up to January. A clean slate- I started to
write the essential elements in my calendar first.
For me, I am planning a Sunday rest day to unplug from media and intentionally connect with God and loved ones. I prioritize seeing my parents as well
as my new grandson and phone conversations with my kids. Also, I find starting my day reading scripture and praying, listening to God focuses me on slowness.
2. Build Time in the Day
I decided not to schedule every second. By giving myself 10-15 extra minutes with each appointment or event, it allows me margin so I can engage with the barista, sit quietly before a meeting, or check in on a friend.
See how fast a month fills up? This was even with intentional planning!
4. Commit to a Rest Day
We all know that a day of Sabbath is the commandment we find most comfortable to disobey. We live in a culture where busyness
equates to success and production. However, taking one day to rest, to connect with loved ones, read a book, and prioritize relationships leads to a slow life.
5. Consider a Media Fast
For a class, I needed to fast from media. What I found is I wasted a lot of time scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. This extra time allowed me the margin to slow down in other aspects of my life.
6. Prioritize slowness
This means I will have to say no to certain activities, people, and demands. I truly believe God does not want us scurrying from event to activity without engaging with His beloved people and being annoyed they are in our way. There are tough decisions to be made for the 21st-century family where most children have multiple activities each day. As a family, prioritize slowness. As an empty nester, not one of my children has made a career out of the activities in which they participated as a child. But, they do remember slow meals around the table as we laughed and cried.
Lastly, screen shot this graphic and use it as your wallpaer. It might help you to remember to slooooooow down.