Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? Jeremiah 2:25 (The Message)
So I signed up for a 21-day meditation course online featuring two esteemed gurus of our culture to whom I refer collectively as “Oprah Chopra.” Got myself all ready to be decompressed, un-stressed and boldly blessed. Stoked and psyched, I was certain I was on my way to Serenity Now!
Cut to: the alternate ending. I made it all the way through… Day One. There was just too much to get done! I couldn’t justify sitting there, actively doing absolutely nothing for twenty-one days in a row. C’mon, people! Only so many hours in a day and oh so many obligations.
Did I mention that the meditation course required a commitment of only fifteen minutes per day?
Maybe it’s because I’m from New Jersey, but by default, my general tendency for most of my life has been to be in a hurry. As I’ve gotten older (and due to health issues) I have slowed down somewhat, but I see it all around me here in my home state. We walk quickly. We talk over each other in conversation. We get in the car, get on the road, and get where we’re going.
Some other cultures have figured out that life should not be on fast-forward, and they’ve slowed things down.
In Spain, businesses shut down in the middle of the afternoon to accommodate the traditional siesta, and although this practice is on the decline as modern, multi-tasking life encroaches, many still swear by that mid-day nap.
The French have made the leisurely meal into an art form. The “slow food” movement has gained a substantial following. Dinner is savored, friendships are nurtured. A glass of wine (or deux) is enjoyed. La vie est belle!
Native cultures speak of finding God in nature, of waiting for his guidance out in the woods or by the river. Time seems slower. Life seems simpler.
Why is it so hard for us to stop and smell the roses? Has it simply become the American way of doing things?
Maybe we should schedule a half hour of repose every day no matter what else is vying for our attention. It will serve to make us more productive and help us to find our center, but more important, it’s a chance to connect with God and be open to His leading. It may become a habit you won’t want to break.