Slow Down

When I began my AP Literature class this week, I told the students the key to success in that class can be stated in two words…

Slow. Down.

Students who rush through the AP readings (complex literature with many layers) miss most of what the passages are about and can rarely analyze the passages correctly. But students are so conditioned to rushing through so much of life – the downside of having the world at your fingertips – that the idea of slowing down is foreign.

As I wrote those words on the board (Hangman-style, as requested by the students), I realized that I need to follow my own advice. Not for AP Lit, but for life. I tend to rush through much of my day. I multitask far too often and still find tasks that I have forgotten. I finish one day while planning the next. Too often, I only half-listen to my husband when he talks to me because my mind is somewhere else – where are the kids? Did I leave the coffee maker on? Did I make the copies that I need for tomorrow…?

I need to slow down. To enjoy each moment. I don’t want to keep looking back at my days and realize I spent them distracted rather than engaged. There’s nothing wrong with planning. But rushing in life, as in AP Lit, can keep me from missing the true beauty right in front of me. It can prevent me from enjoying the people God has placed in my life right now.

Worse, it can keep me from God Himself. When I am rushing, I fly through my Bible study and prayer time because I am thinking of what comes next. How many lessons has God wanted to teach me, lately, that I have missed because I am not slowing down and listening to His voice? How many people has He placed in my path that I have ignored because I am too involved in my own plans to consider His?

This teacher needs to follow her own advice and Slow. Down. Enjoy each day because God hasn’t promised us tomorrow. And because tomorrow has enough worries of its own. And because God is here, today, and He has plans for me today.

Maybe you need this reminder, too. It’s so easy to rush, so easy to be distracted. So incredibly easy to focus on the temporal and neglect the eternal. But there is a remedy: Slow. Down.

This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps. 118:24 (emphasis mine)


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