“Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last. Just kicking down the cobblestones. Looking for fun and feeling groovy.” The Simon and Garfunkel lyrics roll around my head on the last morning of a recent get away to Hocking Hills. Spending time away from the hustle and bustle of life, tucked away in a cozy cabin amidst a winter wonderland, is just what the doctor ordered. It’s a great way to re-charge the batteries, clear the brain-fog, and re-establish your trajectory. We all seem to unknowingly drift from our intended path from time to time. It’s good practice to pause and reflect, making sure we’re following in God’s footsteps and not just wandering about forging a trail He never intended for us to be on.
Sitting in my PJs, coffee in hand, enjoying a toasty fire, I can’t help but to ache for this moment to last. “Slow down, you move too fast,” is my heart’s desire. Lord, I want to live in this moment, sitting with you, allowing the worries of this world to melt away through the power of your Holy Spirit . . . with help from the therapeutic heat of the fireplace too, I might add.
But life awaits right? We can’t live in a perpetual state of a slowed-down life, right? . . . Or can we? I mean, God seems pretty adamant that we can have peace and joy in the midst of even the roughest storms. In fact, I remember reading about Jesus literally taking a nap in a boat while his disciples freaked out about the raging storm around them. (Mark 4:35) They were certain they were going to drown, but he was confident they would survive. He chose to remain calm and at peace rather than unsettled and fearful.
And so, I reason; if he can have peace in the midst of the most violent storm, and he can calm that storm with just a few words, then he can certainly calm the storms in me, can’t he? Absolutely he can! Journeying back to the “real world” doesn’t mean I have to lose His calming presence. I simply need to choose it and fight for it.
I am somehow reminded of the phrase I occasionally hear from sports commentators, describing a football player who has recently moved from the college level, and is now excelling as a pro; “The game has really slowed down for him.” First off, let me be clear. The actual game itself didn’t slow down. It continues to move at a crazy fast pace, regardless of how skilled the player becomes. What does change is their ability to process the myriad of information and to respond in a calm and calculated manner. BOOM! That’s it! What a great representation of real life! Perspective and experience, coupled with the gifting and empowerment of the Holy Spirit can and will slow down life, allowing us to experience his rest . . . and calm . . . and inner peace, even when the world around us amps up with the chaos it tends to bring.
Lord, I pray that you would help each of us to “be still and know that you are God” (Psalm 46:10), and to live at a God-paced life.
May God keep you cozy and comforted!
~ Pastor Mitch