I am coming to embrace the idea of being slower. I drive slower, I walk slower, I take my time to get from one place to the next, I think slower… in short, I am trying to do everything just a little bit slower than before. What I am finding is that this slower way of existing is helping me to reflect more and to ponder my experience with a deepened sense of wonder and ease. I believe it is also helping me to form more meaningful relationships.
And the strange paradox is that I feel more prepared to respond with haste when needed. It seems as though living life at a frenetic pace with a constant flow of activity seems to make us less available for spontaneous acts of joy, for incredible acts of self-gift, for a whole host of situations that might pass one by if we are not paying attention.
At the heart of this philosophy of slow is the principle that we need time and space to reflect upon our experience and to ponder the deeper questions of life. Instead of such leisure being the possession of a privileged few, it is the precious jewel of those who learn to find happiness in their particular circumstances. The person who learns to live slower develops a habit of considering that wisdom which only comes from lived experience. This wisdom is available to both rich and poor; to those with a lot of education and those with little.
In the Christian context, this meandering through reality is not the isolated activity of the individual, but shared in the intimacy of communion, the continuous flow of prayer that lies just below the surface of our awareness. By virtue of our Baptism, we have access to an interior illumination in which our slowness gives space for a relationship with God, and it is precisely this relationship which constitutes an enduring happiness that transcends circumstances.
By being slow, we give God an opportunity to speak.
Today, let us allow ourselves to slow down. Let us be captivated by the idea of an interior slowness in which we move from activity to activity with an interior calm that transforms both us and the world.