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Slowing Life to a Speed so that Your Living Will Matter by Connie McNeill

We all know that when it comes to living, there is no dress rehearsal. This is it, folks. One shot. Only one time through. The lights are on, and cameras are rolling.

I’m not taking a poll but have you dismissed the idea of being emotionally and spiritually healthy? Do you believe there is no relationship between the two? Or are you experiencing a deepening relationship with Christ and finding wellness in new ways?

There are many ways we can convince ourselves to steer clear of things that in our hearts we know would make us “better.” Most of us, with even minimal self-awareness, know where the cracks in our veneer go. They go to deep, deep places of brokenness inside us.

What is the business of slowing down? It is a core component of emotionally healthy spirituality. We slow down to take time to find thoughtful solutions to problems. Thoughtful solutions don’t cause greater problems than we started with! Slow wisdom is preferred.

We slow down to let Scripture take root in our spiritual hearts. This is a deep hearing of God’s word. Frankly, some of us have Scripture bouncing around in our brains but not shaping our hearts. We can have a tremendous amount of Scripture knowledge but be utterly unformed by it. Slow down for the rooting process.

We slow down to build genuine, authentic community. Relationships take many things including time. As Pete Scazzero says, “Listening deeply to another person, being present to them, and walking with them in different contexts takes time…a lot of time.” When the press of life seems to be demanding our every moment of time, slow down and find the renewal you so badly need by taking control of some of those moments and spend them in deep, rich relationships. You are racing to get too much done when the point is in living well.

This isn’t a New Year’s resolution. It’s a lifestyle commitment. To help us keep slowing down to live in ways that really matter, we need to build in some speed bumps. Everyone can do it differently but here are some ideas to place in your too-fast days: times of silence, solitude, Scripture meditation (not just reading), Daily Offices, Sabbath, a few minutes in nature, singing songs that have spiritual meaning, reflecting on an artwork.

Whatever you do, slow down and live so that your life really matters. Winning the speed-through-life race has no trophy or no winner. Any one of the pastors would be honored to have a conversation and walk with you as you get started with this new lifestyle. May your new year be a year of growing in living the slow.

Posted by Connie McNeill at 10:05 AM
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