“And rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” (Joel 2:13, ESV)
As I was reading Joel 2:13, I was struck by the word slow. God is slow. Specifically, he is slow to anger. He is patient. He is intentional.
I thought about what slow means for me. This is something I struggle with. I am a busy person. I am often hurried in my hustle. I easily get distracted from the task at hand, focusing on the task that comes next.
Our ever-connected world does not help the matter. We have wonderful technologies to make us more efficient. But we don’t often use these technologies to free time up more time. We use these tools to do more work.
My son Jacob, is a Lego fanatic. He is 8 years old. Every birthday and Christmas he looks forward to getting a new lego set. He has been putting Legos together for several years, so he has quite the collection. He proudly displays all of his completed sets in his room. However, there are about 15 sets that he disassembled when he was younger. Thousands of pieces from these sets have been stored away in bins, randomly mixed together.
Last weekend, I took the bins out and dumped them out on a table. We began to sort through all the Legos with the intention of reassembling them. I don’t know how long this will take. I imagine it will be many months.
It is an exercise in slowing down and being patient. But I look forward to this time with my son. It is the slow life! We don’t plan to hurry this exercise. We will let it take as long as it takes to enjoy the time together. There are many other things to be hurried for. But our time together is not one of them.
In the same way, we don’t want to hurry our time with God. As you read the Scriptures during your devotions, be slow and deliberate. It may take you longer to read through the Scriptures, but that is okay. Don’t feel compelled to read through the Scriptures in a prescribed time. Take as long as you need to go deep.
Also, consider some ways you can intentionally live the slow life:
- Take a quiet walk and appreciate the beauty of God’s creation without headphones.
- Play a board game with your family.
- Work on a puzzle.
- Learn a new craft
- Learn a musical instrument or a new skill on an instrument you already play.
- Invite some friends to your house for dinner.
- Go to the park.
The work is always there. There is always something to be done. But give yourself permission to leave it be. As much as you check off your to-do list, there is always more to be added. The work is always there if you let it be. Give yourself permission to be slow. Live the slow life because life goes by fast enough.