Speed and efficiency have always been a priority for me. My life and activity level may at times seem harried and frenzied to those observing. But the ability to plan my schedule, accomplish much with efficient effort and minimize the time involved has always been a cherished goal. And in fact it has served me well in much of life. However, I remember as a young boy my mother watching me in the kitchen. She suggested that culinary arts would not be in my future because some activities can not be rushed and accomplished well.
Speed also impedes other areas of life. Friendship and family often work less well in a frenzied atmosphere. I recently read a book by Carl Honoré entitled In Praise of Slowness. He suggests that our 24 hour rapid paced life is affecting our work, our leisure, our children, our health, our relationships and our communities. Speed is especially problematic in the arena of relationships. Mr. Honoré postulates that better balance would lead in fact to "tempo giusto" -- the right speed which would bring about profound positive transformations in our life.
Many of us live life as if we were cars, with our schedules revved to the red line of the tachometer. What happens to our spiritual lives when we live on the "red line" -- the edge. God has called us to personal relationship with Him. God waits patiently for us, but our pace often hinders a deep connection with Him. Even our worship services, at times structured around the pressures of the clock, can thwart our effort to draw near to Him. King David, whose life must have been full, knew this principle of slowing down and quieting his heart when he wrote:
"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. . . " (Ps 37:7 NIV)
"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth." ( Ps 46:10 NIV)
Slowing down does not suggest sloth or laziness. There will be times of intense work and the need for efficiency and speed. But let us, with the principles of the musical world, recognize that each activity may have a "tempo giusto". This lesson is a life-long learning process. Will you join me this week in the "life rhythms" classroom?