Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
It was the great man of the 20th-century Mahatma Ghandi who once said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed”. What did he mean by that? And what would he think of life today in this century? Sure he said that back in the 1940s.
We seem hellbent on getting to the next great moment of our life even before we have fully appreciated the moment we are in. We become easily distracted and want to be entertained. Most of us are conditioned to think this is the way life should be. Life should be lived at breakneck speed we think—rushing from one place to another, switching between tasks as fast as can blink.
The urge to be busy
We want to appear busy—not just to others, but ourselves as well. We foolishly think that running in so many directions, our striving and hurry will help us find meaning and happiness. We stand in front of the microwave muttering Hurry up! Commercial advertising today almost urges us to buy up and enjoy life—time is short, and you need to enjoy stuff now while you can.
Maybe that’s why the little girl reacted like she did one day at school. She was in first grade, getting used to the routine, and was having her school photos taken. The photographer was making small talk to put her at ease: What are you going to be when you grow up? But he wasn’t quite expecting this answer—she replied with one word: Tired.
Yes, of course there are some advantages to having things done in a fast and efficient manner, but other aspects of life don’t lend themselves to being hurried.
I think Mahatma Ghandi was saying, There is great benefit in sometimes slowing down and observing life, what’s going on around you and within you. We know instinctively that there is a need for us to do that. Some of us are afraid to stop and ponder, for fear of what we might find—perhaps a deep loneliness that scares us. So we just keep busy to avoid what we may find in those still moments on our own.
Maybe some of us should have engraved on our tombstone I was in a hurry. How sad! Surely life is more than that—an opportunity to achieve something that lasts beyond our own death. I like Elbert Hubbard’s words, “He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.” But we can never accomplish this without slowing down.
A place to be quiet
But there’s another side to this. Back in the swinging 60s, Carole King had a hit song “Up On the Roof”. You might know it:
I found a paradise that’s trouble-proof
And if this old world starts getting you down
There’s room enough for two, up on the roof.
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it’s as peaceful as can be
And there the world can’t bother me.
We all need a place of silence—it doesn’t really matter where it is. Perhaps in a church where you can sit and be alone with your thoughts and God, or a private moment somewhere. It does give a very real opportunity for God to speak to you. Let’s open our heart and soul to the Creator God who says, “Let us make man in our own image”.
You do have the ability to communicate with God
You see, you are made in the image of God with a soul that lives on forever. You do have the ability to communicate with him, and unless we give ourselves permission to slow down and spend time with God, our inner lives will always be the poorer. There is more to life than increasing its speed.
I feel God would say to us today, Slow down long enough to find out what is really important. When you do, life and its priorities will fall into place. Your energy levels will come up again because you’ll be at peace with the God who loves you. The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). The author David wants us to experience God’s goodness, and that can never happen if we don’t take time to be with him. To slow down and experience the Lord’s stillness and peace.
Never ignore that still, small voice in your heart—God wants a close relationship with you. It will take time to develop, like any friendship does, but a true relationship with him is the most rewarding, fulfilling and intimate relationship a person can have.
(To be continued in Slowing Down to Experience God – Part 2)