In many cases, slow is good. Slow is better than fast. But, look around, and you would think otherwise. Driving behind a slow car can be annoying. Waiting for customer service on the phone for more than a few minutes seems like eternity. Watching the little hourglass on your computer screen while you wait for a website to appear is a huge waste of your time. For many of us, fast is better. The faster things are, the more time we have to do even more things … until we reach the end of our day and feel like we still have so much more to do.
When I began applying for jobs after graduation, my resume highlighted my fast-learning, multi-tasking, type A work ethic. At the time, I suppose I prided myself with such “productive” qualities. But now, the fast-paced, get-it-done, no-nonsense attitude has not led me to fare so well in life.
Today was an uphill battle to get homeschooling done with the children. Nearly at the point of throwing in the towel, I sat there, trying to replay every event and conversation that led up to this downfall. And what The Lord revealed to me is that I was moving too fast. Instead of shepherding my children gently, I impatiently moved ahead of them and became frustrated when they could not keep up.
God spoke to me …
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19)
When my words begin to multiply, and I find myself essentially saying the same things over and over again to someone, I’m in the danger zone. It won’t be long before those many words explode into an outburst of anger. And my hearers (in this case, my children) are sadly caught in the blazing fire (James 3:5-6).
There is one thing, though, that God instructs me to be quick about: “quick to hear”. Have you ever witnessed an irate customer while shopping at the store? That person gets louder and louder about their complaints, and the manager’s explanation of store policy falls on deaf ears. As a bystander, I actually feel embarrassed for that customer because they look rather foolish. But that’s me. I was the irate customer today, not willing to hear my children and not willing to listen to God’s Word because I wanted my words to be heard.
In this fast-paced, breakneck, lightning speed world, it is good to be reminded to slow down.
(Photo credit: SaZeOd)