Greetings in the name of Jesus who knew the importance of slowing.
It seems to me that Jesus was never in a rush. He certainly had places to go and people to see but he never seemed in a hurry to get there.
He was the kind of person who lingered at wells, got so engaged in conversation that dinner got cold, welcomed the interruptions of children, took time to listen to people’s problems, to heal, to bless and break bread. He rested when he needed to and spent time with God in prayer.
Jesus lived life with all 5 senses. He took notice of his surroundings. He saw Zacchaeus way up in the tree. He heard Martha’s sisterly grumblings. He felt the power go out of him when the hemorrhaging women touched his cloak. He smelled the extravagance of the perfume Mary poured on his feet. He tasted the bread and he drank the wine and said: “Do this in remembrance of me.”
Linger. Welcome. Listen. Heal. Bless. Rest. Pray. Eat together. Remember. Live life slowly and with all 5 senses.
Pre-pandemic we lived pretty busy lives. Rushing was normal. COVID-19 changed all that. In the short time span of a week – everything was either closed or cancelled; no more sports, no more children’s activities, no more social outings, no more shopping or volunteering, no more in-person gatherings.
Even though it has been hard to let go of these things, the pandemic has allowed us (forced us) to slow down. All of a sudden we had time; time to eat dinner with our family, time to play catch in the yard, time to go for walks with our spouse, time to garden, time to sew masks, time to sing and play guitar from our balconies. Even the traffic slowed down for a while!
But recently I noticed that the speed of life (and traffic) is picking up again. Businesses have opened up. People are traveling and enjoying some holidays. Sports organizations are determined to move forward with the upcoming season, all while adhering to health protocols. Schools are preparing to be up and running by fall. Even our calendars are filling up again.
Before things ramp up again, consider taking sometime this month to ask some spiritual discernment questions. How would you describe your personal/family pace in life (pre-COVID and post-COVID)? How has this period of slowing intensified your 5 senses? What have you seen, heard, smelled, felt and tasted that you would have otherwise rushed past? How has the pandemic shifted your perspective on what is important? What will you do differently? What is most important?
As the province continues to open up, as pressure starts to mount and you feel your anxiety on the rise. Take a deep breath and consider these words from Philippians 4:8.
“I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you have learned…”
Put into practice what you have learned.
Jesus said “Do this”.
May this period of slowing down and becoming aware of all 5 of our senses, open us up to a deeper and profound experience of God’s love.
Grace and peace, Pastor Tanya