Have you ever found yourself in a position where you felt like you were at the end of your rope? You allowed yourself to get stretched thin between work, family, friends, and church obligations until you felt like you might snap? Me too. I've been there a number of times and it's never a pleasant place to end up. But I've found that the solution is simple, though it's not easy: Slow Down.
You might be rolling your eyes at this idea or creating your list of reasons why that's not going to happen--I get it. I've been there. But just stick with me. You might not be able to get rid of any obligations, but I think there are simple ways that you can slow down amidst the busyness of your life. I pray that you will be filled with peace and inspired with creativity to look at your schedule and find spaces to slow.
Slow Down with God
Throughout the Bible, there are numerous times when faith-filled people took the time to slow down with God. Moses turned aside at the burning bush, though he was on a mission. Joshua slipped away to get the plans during the heat of battle. Jesus, the best example of all, often withdrew from the crowds so he could spend some much needed time with the Father. They all knew the importance of being still and quiet with the Lord.
I often want an answer or a word or a sign from God right away. I want him to work like a genie and grant me my wish right then and there, I don’t want to have to wait. But God isn’t like a genie or Santa Claus, he’s our Father who wants a relationship with his children. God is constantly inviting us to come with him, sit with him, curl up in his lap, and spend time with him. He wants to lavish love and hope and joy and peace on us; he longs for us to get to know him and share intimately with him. He wants to heal our broken hearts, restore our withered dreams, and speak life into places we may have allowed to die.
When was the last time you slowed down with God?
I encourage you to spend time this week in the slowness: sit and wait for him to speak, meditate on one scripture for your entire quiet time, or flood your senses with worship without distraction.
Slow Down with Yourself
I have a tendency to focus on everyone and everything other than myself, placing myself on the back-burner. In the past, I've lost touch with myself, so much so that I didn’t know who I was. I became this other person—workaholic, perfectionist, anger-filled, bitter, and hard—who I didn’t know. I had allowed stress from external circumstances and lies that I had believed direct who I was.
This year has been a year of healing for me where God has so kindly reminded me of my identity. Back in January God began telling me to slow down and that has been the phrase that has replayed over and over in my mind. Not only has he been telling me to slow down to spend time with him, but to get to know myself. I had distracted myself and allowed my schedule to fill up so I didn't have to spend time with myself because I didn't like myself. I didn't see value in myself so I didn't want to be alone with myself. I didn't want to take the time to identify my thoughts and feelings and process through them, I just wanted to ignore them. But this process of slowing down with myself has changed me in ways that I wouldn't have expected.
How can you carve out a few moments this week for yourself? It might be a bubble bath after a long day of work, a walk around the block during your lunch break, or a few quiet moments with your coffee before the rest of the house wakes up—whatever your slow down looks like, I encourage you to make time every week for yourself. You are worth it!
Slow Down with Others
Some of the richest relationships I currently have are as a result of moments of slowness. These strong friendships weren’t built in an instant but were constructed, brick by brick, moment by moment, over months and years of consistent relationship. It’s the coffee dates, the movie nights, the hard times and the good times that all converge together to weave the beautiful tapestry of intimacy.
I love those moments when I am able to sit down with a friend and just be. There’s no agenda or plan, there’s no rush or places to be, there’s simply existing, and it’s a beautiful experience. I've been able to pour into them and love them well and they've done the same for me.
When was the last time you slowed down and spent some time with a friend or family member? I encourage you to reach out to someone you care about this week and schedule a time to be with them: cook a meal together, go for a walk together, window shop and have fun, or something else the two of you can enjoy.
Our society might be moving a mile a minute, but we can take a few precious moments to slow down to get in tune with God, in touch with ourselves, and in relationship with others. And, I suspect, as we do this, our communities, workplaces, homes, and social circles will begin to look drastically different.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah is part of We are Unveiled's teaching team. She loves sharing about life and faith and is thankful for the opportunity to do that through her writing. She is passionate about story and enjoys learning about people's journeys of hope and healing. She believes every number has a name, every name has a story, and every story is worthy of being shared.