It is no secret that most people in today’s world are in “go go go” mode. Our society seems to run on the ego-boost of always being busy and having so much to do. We often don’t feel like we can afford to slow down, be it out of fear of failure, coming across as lazy, or a generalized anxiety about all that needs to be accomplished. When we are always running at full speed, we miss the important moments; the moments where we are able to connect. It is of absolute necessity to slow down and learn how to be in the moment, comfortably, in order that we may develop these connections with God and one another.
It is stated throughout the Bible to take time in prayer. How are we to be truly devoted to prayer if we can’t seem to stop and sit still? God tell us in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” It is shown how when the drive to move is slowed down, people are moved and transformed through connection. So frequently did Christ “go off schedule” in the opinions of others to take time to connect with people, with God, and to sit quietly in prayer. God is calling us to grow the spiritual fruit of patience and love (Galatians 5:22) (desiringGod). In the past few years I have been seeking to master the balance of being busy and slowing down. While this balance may feel elusive at times, and ever-changing, it is the acknowledgement and awareness of where we are at, at any given time, that allows us to redirect and take our struggles to the Lord. When I am always running around and doing stuff, I not only exhaust myself, depleting the emotional and physical resources others may need of me, but I also neglect my prayer life and time with God. It is only when I “slow my roll” that I am able to get the important things taken care of, including this connection to the Lord and others.
In active addiction, I was missing connections with God and others. I thought I had some, but truthfully they were limited at best. I notice similar behaviors in myself, even in sobriety, from time to time. To grow in relationship with God I have to spend time with Him. I need to speak to Him and learn how to listen. He also calls us to be in community, which I certainly struggle with at times. Being accountable to others, loving others, and walking with others can be burdensome tasks (and that is a two-way street). We are as complicated as humans, and God designed us to need one another. To develop these essential connections and build relationships and enjoy the beautiful little moments, we have to slow down. We need to learn how to stop and breathe more. We need to be more comfortable in silence and how to quiet the loudness of our thoughts. We need to be present and to be present, we need to learn how to live in the moment.
It has taken me quite a number of years and a lot of dedicated, faith-based work in my life to enable me to sit still in quiet. Especially in our fast-paced society, I have found it even more pertinent to just take time to chill out. We do not need to wait for vacation to do this either! We can choose to set aside time daily, or even just a dedicated amount of time weekly, to stop being busy and be present. There is a lot of beauty to be found in these moments, and it only takes a moment to make a moment.
Allow God to move you, in you and through you. He will take you places you never thought possible.