John Ortberg defined the discipline of slowing as "Cultivating patience by deliberately choosing to place ourselves in positions where we simply have to wait."
Sounds fun, right?
It can be.
Slowing is an act of rebellion against the idols of our age: speed, accomplishment, success at all costs, etc. It's about giving up the fight for a good life, and taking up the fight for a good soul. It's about getting on the rhythm of Jesus, who invites us to recover our life through him.
So how do we do it? Simple (and also really hard). Slow down! Stop rushing and hurrying everywhere you go. Deliberately choose to place yourself in positions where you simply have to wait.
The following ideas are just ideas. They're not religious requirements. They're meant to be a fun way to get your whole self involved in slowing down enough to enjoy all the blessings Jesus has for you:
1. Try driving the speed limit.
Not under the speed limit (that's just annoying). But try staying right on the money. By constantly rushing to our destination, we make all obstacles (i.e. other cars) into our enemy. It raises anxiety and reduces our capacity to love. Dropping your speed, drops your stress.
2. Put your phone away when you're waiting for an appointment.
We've all spent time waiting. It's the worst! If you're in a waiting room, chances are 9/10 people in there are staring at their phones until their name gets called. Try turning your phone off and putting it away. Just sit there like some sort of time traveller from 1995. Maybe you could strike up a conversation, think about your day, or even pray!
3. Walk slower.
Whether you’re on your way somewhere, or just out getting some fresh air. Slow down. Stop and smell the roses, as they say. In fact, don’t walk. Mosey. Force yourself to move through the world at a relaxed pace. See how it affects your soul.
4. Get in the longest checkout line at the grocery store.
What a horrible idea! But it's also one of the greatest opportunities to cultivate patience. Often we feel that the slowness of our cashier, and the line of people in front of us are denying us what we want: quick service and a speedy exit. When we're denied what we want, it often leads to anger, impatience and short tempers. So, instead, learn to deny yourself of what you want once in a while. If you get good at handling that when you do it, then you’ll be less likely to snap at your kids the next time they deny you a good night’s sleep.
What other activites slow down your body? How can you turn it into a game to make it fun?
The following sermons and sermon series' are all about the pracitce of slowing. Listen to them for further teaching and advice.
This sermon descirbes the basics of the practice of slowing, and provides practical ideas that will help slow down your life.