Monday, May 5, 2008

Slowing Down

“It is important from time to time to slow down, to go away by yourself, and simply be.” ~Eileen Caddy

“Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” ~Eddie Cantor

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I got a chance to go for a long walk. The first portion was through a large, peaceful city park and the remainder was through an upper middle-class neighborhood. My husband remarked as we went along “how much you hear when you slow down enough to listen.” Sure enough, we heard the babbling of a creek, the rushing of a small waterfall, the singing of the birds, the happy voices of playing children, the zoom-zoom of rollerblades, the “LEFT!” of a bicyclist coming up behind us, the whisper of the cool spring breeze.

When we entered the neighborhood, I had to make a conscious effort to continue hearing the sounds we normally miss in our everyday rush. But between the roar of passing cars, still I heard the squawks of birds and felt the brush of the wind. I was listening intently for the next precious sound, confident that the Lord was revealing more of Himself to me. Then I heard it.

The unmistakable hum of …a hair dryer. =)

Fast forward to yesterday. Our family went to a nearby state park to enjoy the perfect spring weather. The sky was bright and blue, the breezes strong. Whitecaps appeared on the lake while fish sprang out of the water and splashed their return. Numerous species of birds gambolled in the tree tops and soared through the cloudless expanse above. Children laughed and enjoyed the day.

At one point, we got to see how slowing down can even help a child take notice of the truths of God. We were walking the Duck Pond Trail (that took us to a duck-less pond, of course) and the kids were walking several paces behind us. Suddenly, in a clever attempt to pass us, our son hollered,

“Dad! Mom! God says that the last shall be first!”

After we figured out what in the world he was referring to, we chuckled and moved aside.

A few minutes later, our daughter showed us several different types of seed pods she had been collecting. We discussed the myriad of procedures God had for starting new plants, and decided that the one that looked berry-ish must taste good to some kinds of animals. We talked about how animals will eat fruity-type “pods” and, as they move about, later expel the seeds with their waste (built-in fertilizer – how clever is that!?)

Farther along, we came to a small bridge. As if to collect our toll, a large caterpillar was stationed squarely in the middle of the first wooden plank. After inspecting it for several minutes and hypothesizing what type of butterfly it would become (and issuing the standard, “no, we can’t take it home”), our son made an interesting observation:

“If we leave it on the bridge, some big bird will probably come eat it. And then later it will poop out a butterfly!”

Profound. And hysterical.

Why didn’t God think of that? =)

So, slow down this week and tune your senses. Hear the variety of sounds in nature. Feel God's kiss in the gentle breezes. See the unstoppable power of the Almighty in the raging torrents. Smell the fragrance of Spring in the flowers and the rain. Proclaim the praises of Christ continually from your lips and heart.

And look for His fingerprints everywhere.


  1. Sounds (and looks) like a lovely day. Loved the "pooping out a butterfly" comment. That kid is hilarious.

  2. I literally laughed out loud in the office at the thought of a bird "pooping out a butterfly."

    And I am officially an idiot - I have been checking your blog regularly like normal, wondering when you were going to post a new post after "Paradise." Just today I figured out that's not a post at all, and there are new posts to read below it. At best, unobservant, at worst, an idiot. =)


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