Slow Down

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Do you ever feel like life is moving at warp speed? Although time obviously moves at a consistent pace, life circumstances make it seem as though it is moving more quickly. I am of the opinion that the further along we go in life, the faster time seems to pass. My family is in a season of transition and is anticipating change. Our oldest child is preparing for college and the other two are not far behind. How can we make the most of the time we have in life to focus on the most important things?

I do not make New Year’s resolutions, but each year I think about a word or a theme I want to emphasize along with other goals I set for the year ahead. My most recent theme was “simplify.” Life trends toward complexity and not simplicity. Yet there is something profoundly significant about uncluttering our lives and simplifying them as much as possible. I do not buy into the “minimalist” movement wholeheartedly because I think it is largely void of the spiritual, which is the most important. The idea of minimalism is good however, to narrow down what is best for our lives.

This year the theme that came to mind is “slow down.” Maybe you are thinking, there is not a great likelihood this could happen in your life. We all have responsibilities and schedules which cannot be fully controlled. Whether or not you can literally slow down, what I am advocating is moving more slowly through life. Enjoy the blessed moments God gives you each day. Be joyful if you have the health to get up and fulfill the responsibilities you have and keep your schedule. Take time to have an unrushed conversation or sit down and have coffee with a friend. Learn to observe, listen, and experience each moment of life. Drink in the beauty of the world around you and make the most of your time.

We cannot control what happens to us, only how we respond to it. Each of us can commit to intentionally slow down and wisely use our time. There was a conversation between Frodo and Gandalf in “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Frodo said, “I wish it need not have happened in my time.” “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” (J.R.R. Tolkien)