Jesus saved the world at 3 mph, a walking pace.
A dear friend recently sent me the above sentence which she read in the introduction for a documentary film Godspeed. As I contemplated this thought I was convicted to slow down my pace even more. Before long a blog column was born…
Our world has most of us living at breakneck speeds. Jobs; families; children; church and school activities; hobbies; groceries; chores; cooking… With all this who has time to rest much less contemplate God’s goodness and purpose for our lives.
When we look at world history and the pace at which most cultures have lived, it’s only within the last 100 years or so that family and personal lives began to get overcrowded with outside distractions. With the invention of steam power for boats and trains, followed by automobiles, airplanes and computer technology, life for the average person has gotten complicated at an exponential rate.
Since beginning my Benedictine Oblate path in 2012, I’ve come to understand my need to slow down and simplify my life. It’s not something that happens overnight to be sure. Life didn’t get complicated and cluttered in one day and it isn’t going to get simplified in one day either. But just like most things, as we take baby steps each day towards our goal eventually we will see improvements.
One thing that helps me is to keep strong boundaries on my use of media and devices. Apple’s iOS 12 update has a new feature which allows you to put time limits on your apps. I implemented it immediately and have already seen great results. By limiting screen time I’m able to be more in the present moment; to recognize God’s Presence in my life; to be present to my surroundings, to myself, my husband and my dogs. By limiting, and in some cases removing, media distractions I’m able to focus more on the things that are important to me. To enjoy learning because I can remember more of what I’m reading. Then I’m able to share more with you.
God doesn’t want our life to be lived numbed out from one media device to the next, never having personal relationships with Him or anyone else. But He isn’t going to come in our living room and hide the TV remote or change our device passwords. It’s up to us to discipline ourselves. Let’s look at Jesus’ example. Let’s slow down our pace. The next time you’re outside, stop. Take sit down and just look at the clouds, listen to the birds and soak up the breeze. You’ll be surprised how energized you will be afterwards.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. ~ Matthew 11:29b MSG
Learning the unforced rhythms of grace means accepting that where I am now is where God wants me to be. Living the pace of grace for this moment means not looking back to yesterday, last week, or last year with regrets and do-over wishes. The pace of grace in the moment doesn’t look forward with fear, anxiety or dread. As we learn to let go, to walk each moment at Jesus’ pace, He dispenses His grace to us at the perfect place in His perfect time.