In a world where we can have anything brought to us in less than a couple of days, we do not adjust well to slow. When a line is slow at the store, we are not happy. When traffic is slow, we are ready to take another route. When people drive slow or talk slow or walk slow, we are ready to move around them in whatever way we can. Sometimes I look over at people that are driving slow and they look terrified, like they are doing the best they can just to not get clobbered. We don’t do slow. Yet, how much of our progress comes slowly? How many of the most valuable things come to us when we take our time and energy? We often want to avoid those things though. Or we want an easy solution. If it can’t be fast, we aren’t interested.
Think about healthy eating, for instance. When we begin to switch to a better way of eating, we do not lose weight right away. We hit plateaus. We have times when we don’t lose any weight. We may feel better, but we want to lose weight when we want at the rate we want. If we don’t, it must not be working. We forget that it took time to put on the weight and it takes time to come back off. Or how about exercise? I really love to run. I have run for years. But if I don’t train regularly, I can’t run the distance. Running long distances takes many practice miles. It takes effort to get out there when I don’t feel like it. I have to endure the training all along the way if I want to achieve my ultimate goal. Those times aren’t always fun. It is slow progress. Sometimes it feels gruelingly slow. But it comes. It is like that when we want to learn a new trade or we want to begin a new career. It is a slow progression before we are up and running at full speed. It is slow, methodical training.
When we think of our spiritual lives, there is slow progression here as well. We aren’t automatically more like Christ. We are not all of a sudden doing what we were created to do. We do not reach our peak on the second day. It takes time. It takes consistent effort. It takes listening to God and continually coming back again. It takes a constant refocus to become more and more like a disciple. It is slow but it is beautiful.
What are we trying to rush along that will just take time? Why are we trying to find shortcuts to things which are found with time and effort? What can we do differently to have a daily, constant focus on being more like Christ? What is it that we can do slowly to grow and learn? Slow just might be the way.
73 Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
74 Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
75 I know, O Lord, that your judgments are right,
and that in faithfulness you have humbled me.
76 Let your steadfast love become my comfort
according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery