Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.
– Dallas Willard
In the spiritual life God chooses to try our patience first of all by His slowness. He is slow: we are swift and precipitate. It is because we are but for a time, and He has been for eternity. …
There is something greatly overawing in the extreme slowness of God. Let it overshadow our souls, but let it not disquiet them. We must wait for God, long, meekly, in the wind and wet, in the thunder and the lightning, in the cold and the dark.
Wait, and He will come. He never comes to those who do not wait. He does not go their road.
When He comes, go with Him, but go slowly, fall a little behind; when He quickens His pace, be sure of it, before you quicken yours. But when He slackens, slacken at once: and do not be slow only, but silent, very silent, for He is God.
– Frederick Faber
Going slow is difficult for me. Especially since I’ve learned what it means to put my faith into action, and I just want to do it. Especially in a church that’s committed to the work of justice and the renewal of our city, and there’s so much to do. Especially in a city where your value is often based on your activity.
But in these contexts, going slow, even stopping, and learning to listen are particularly important. Because it’d be real easy to think when you’re busy and active that it’s what you do that matters, rather than who you are and who you are becoming.
Who you are and who you are becoming are far more important than what you do.
- Remember to sabbath.
- Build your life on a foundation of love and devotion for God.
- Spend time tending to your soul by spending time with God — quality time.
- Make time for things that give you life — whether that’s with friends or on your own (or both).
- Build in habits of rest and silence and solitude and prayer.
William Wilberforce, the great anti-slavery activist and parliamentarian — I’m guessing he was probably fairly busy — said,
Of all things, guard against neglecting God in the secret place of prayer.
Doing good is good. Doing good is important. But doing good won’t last long if we’re disconnected from God because we’ll constantly feel stretched thin, worn out, and burned out. We weren’t made just to do good. We were made to live with God — to do life with God (and part of that involves doing good).
And doing life with God means we have to move at God’s pace — James Houston wrote, “The speed of godliness is slow.” So slow down a little; don’t miss what God’s doing.
[Both quotes taken from John Ortberg’s Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You.]