Begin by Slowing Down

Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in season, and whose leaf does not wither. 

Psalm 1:2-3     


Never has any generation lived at the frantic pace which we do today.  If the car at the traffic light in front of me doesn’t respond to the green light within three seconds I get agitated.  “C’mon, what’s your problem?  Let’s move!”   


Thomas Huxley was a zealous promoter of Darwin’s views on evolution.  “Darwin’s Bulldog” they called him.  Chuck Swindoll wrote about the time when Huxley lectured in Dublin and gave a series of public assaults against Christian beliefs.   

The next morning he was in a hurry to catch a train.  He took one of Dublin’s horse-drawn taxis, and assumed the driver had been instructed where he wanted to go.  “Hurry!” Huxley shouted, “I’m almost late.  Drive fast!”   

The driver whipped his horses and off they went.  After a while, Huxley looked out the window of the taxicab and noticed they were headed west instead of east. “Do you know where you’re going?” Huxley asked. The driver shouted back, “No, your honor.  But I am driving very fast!”   

We don’t always know where we’re going, but we’re getting there fast.   


I have taught guitar lessons to quite a few people.  Invariably, they want to learn to play a song at the proper tempo first. Later, as they improve, they assume they will learn to play it without making mistakes.   

But they won’t.   One of my sisters is a music professor.  She says you must first learn to play correctly, and then work to increase the tempo.  If you begin by playing fast, making lots of mistakes in the process, you are actually training your brain to play the mistakes.  So, even though you need both correct fingering and proper tempo, the order is crucial.   


The same thing is true for your inner life.  We have to begin by slowing down.  The Bible says we need to take time to meditate on God’s law. Then, when we start racing around, at least we’ll be heading in the right direction. 

(text copyright 2012 by Marty Kaarre)