Measuring the Value of Slowing Down

God is slower than you.

Consider what Jesus told His disciples. In Revelation 22:20, Jesus tells John that He is coming soon (in other translations, we find the word “quickly”). Yet, we all know that two thousand years have gone by, and we are still waiting for His return.

The teenage Joseph was given dreams from God that told him he would rule over his brothers and his parents. It only took 26 years for that to become a reality.

God’s ultimate goal is to spend forever with His creation, a reality where heaven meets earth and a life with no sorrow or mourning. Any day now, apparently.

God is certainly slower than you.

But that should not be seen as an impediment. God is not slower than you because He can’t keep up. God chooses to be slow. His whole understanding of speed doesn’t look like yours or mine.

Consider creation. God took only six days to speak the universe into existence. Some people might say, “Nobody else could do that. That’s how fast God is.” But we know that the God of all creation is infinite in knowledge and power. This God could have created the universe in a millisecond. So, why would an infinite God limit Himself by creating it all over a six-day period? Did He get tired?

Some suggest (not many) that that was the reason God created the Sabbath. That seventh day was to sit down and take a breather, wiping the laborious sweat from His divine brow.

This is, of course, nonsense.

Simply stated, God chooses to be slower than you.

That should give you cause to pause. Someone who can move infinitely faster than you chooses to go slower than you. Could it be that the reason our God does that is because He is trying to teach us something about the value of slowing down?

Never before in the history of the world have we seen such speed. Using a highly specialized car called ThrustSSC, Air Force pilot Andy Green holds the current world record for land speed at 760 mph (1220 kph). Millions of dollars are being spent right now even as you read this article to try and break that record. The Hadron Super Collider in Geneva can make proton particles move at 99.9999991% the speed of light, with confident predictions that they will break the light barrier by the end of the decade. Just from a speed of travel standpoint, people can get anywhere in the world in less than two days. As such, when the Amazon package takes more than two days to arrive, we are frustrated.

We are trying to go faster while our God is trying to go slower.

Is it any wonder that we struggle today with a greater degree of insomnia than at any other time in history? The average millennial and Gen Xer can sit down in front of a computer connected to three display screens and “casually” play a high-speed video game, chat on a Discord server with the same people they are playing the game with, and watch a separate YouTube video ALL AT THE SAME TIME. When this hours-long recreation is over, they then attempt (often unsuccessfully) to turn the lights off, lay in their bed and sleep, taking additional multiple hours to slow their brain down enough to get the kind of rest they need.

Even as I write this article, I find myself trying to both listen to an audiobook called “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” and type the words you are reading simultaneously. You know, kill two birds with one stone, as the phrase goes.

But I think that God is trying to show us the futility of this so-called bird killing. CS Lewis once wrote that God is far more interested in who you are becoming than what you are doing. That means it’s possible that God isn’t paying that much attention to all the activity we have going on. At least not in the way we sometimes think He should.

So, there isn’t a big concluding life hack or personal application here. I sense that we should slow down, but how that looks from person to person probably varies dramatically. I do think back to some of the most satisfying moments of my life and reflect that they were not filled with activity and busyness. A quiet few days on the beach or in the mountains. The silence at home that follows preaching a sermon on a Sunday morning. The week I took off following the birth of my first child.

I think slowing down holds greater value than I ever gave it credit for. I will dwell on it some more. Maybe you should do the same.

Pastor Scott