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On the Slow Side

July 29, 2014

If we are to retreat in daily life, we also need to slow down.

-April Yamasaki [1]


I had an opportunity to slow down today. A walk turned into a moment of reflection by the creek. I noticed elements of nature that I miss when I’m riding my bike here or when I’m just too busy to even stop by.

Within this creek, the central feature of our region and the subject of a Hall and Oates song, stand a few small islands. This particular one stood out to me today. For the first time I noticed that the presence of the island creates two different streams for a short stretch. Though it doesn’t look like it from the angle I took the picture (above) the right side is the larger stream, which features a faster-moving current. On the narrower left side, the water flows gently at a slow and steady pace.

On the slow side I notice signs of life: tiny fish swimming underneath, even tinier insects dancing on top. Probably a snake somewhere down there too, but I didn’t want to find out. The peacefulness invites thoughts of wading in and enjoying the cool water.

The larger, faster side reminds me of the pace of life I too often overcommit to. Keep moving. Keep going. Keep up with most of the other people around me. The fact that so many are moving so quickly in the busyness of life doesn’t make it feel any better, though.

I decided to stay on the slow side for a while.

Slowing down allows for thinking, praying, and reflecting. Slowing down I’m reminded of last evening’s conversation with a neighbor, at the playground as our kids were playing together. We talked of taking our boys down to swim in the creek. Slowing down lets us enjoy God’s creation, our conversations, and the company of one another. Slowing down allows for remembering that there is so much to notice in God’s good creation.

And here I re-learn the truth that it’s refreshing to slow down in God’s presence.

[1] April Yamasaki. Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal. Herald Press, 2013. 25.

  1. Robert Martin permalink
    July 30, 2014 9:30 am

    I know where that island is… Fascinating reflection, bro… thanks!

  2. July 30, 2014 1:01 pm

    Reblogged this on formation:community.

  3. July 30, 2014 1:06 pm

    Thanks Rob! Thought you might recognize the spot. It’s one of my favorite stretches of the trail.

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