Who remembers Simon and Garfunkel? I do! Does that make me really OLD? I think so. One of their more popular songs was known as “59th Street Bridge Song.” It began with these words, “Slow down you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last….” It was a call in the 60’s to slow down from the fast pace of life. Maybe they were on to something.
If the 60’s represented a fast paced life, what can be said of our day? We live in a time of just about instant everything. From virtually instant communication through FB, Twitter, email and cell phones to the plethora of fast food restaurants and drive-up windows to ATM’s and instant cash to…. Well, you get the point. Most people are running so much from one activity to another they never stop to “smell the roses.” Even the prophet Nahum spoke of the invading enemy as having raging chariots. (Nah. 2:4) I guess speed isn’t only a modern day problem.
What do we miss in the fast lane? We can find out if we simply pull over to the slow lane! Or, better yet, get out to walk. It’s amazing the things we miss when we are fixated on speed. Teenagers want to speed through life to adulthood. Children want to speed through childhood to being a teenager. And, many want to just get moving faster through life. Rarely do we hear to slow down.
I want to issue a call to slow down. Remember when we were children our parents and teachers said this to us, “Stop, look and listen.” They didn’t want us to rush across the road and endanger our lives because we weren’t looking. A few years ago I was on my way to a Giants game and I must have been too interested in getting there quickly. Crossing the Embarcadero I failed to stop, look and listen and almost paid for it with my life. I ran out in front of oncoming traffic, narrowly missing being struck. Believe me, if I had been run over, the driver would not have been at fault! But, the Lord was gracious and got me across the street without a scratch. But, if I had only slowed down, none of that would have happened.
What are we missing by just rushing headlong into the fray? We need to take time to meditate and reflect. Find a quiet spot where you can be alone without interruptions. That means, turn off your phone, get away from your computer, and listen to the birds. Think about life and the Lord. Don’t become distracted as Martha was. She was way too stressed out and pent up! She needed to slow down to see what was more important. Jesus told her that her sister, Mary, had chosen the better part.
This week, why not practice a little slowing down? Get alone with the Lord. Watch your children or grandchildren more than the TV. Listen to the Lord more than music. Pay attention to others more than your favorite sports team. Slow down. Stop, look, and listen.