• Pat Johnson

Slowing Down




How we love to run our lives at a good clip! We remain focused on the tasks at hand and feel a sense of accomplishment when we finish one thing, only to replace it with another (or 2 or 3).


But what if our lives are slowed down by something beyond our control? What happens when we are shut away from our regular daily checklist? And the people we love to talk to? Or listen to?


Maybe our first thought is to struggle against what has robbed us of activity. Struggle turns into self-recrimination which gets us nowhere since we did not cause or plan our demise. We struggle some more and begin to feel worthless to the world.


In the middle of this struggle, we forget that Jesus told us in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


When we can stop and feel the hand of Jesus on our head and cease the struggle, we can rest assured that we have a special blessing placed upon us. We are at the end of ourselves, and Jesus tells us how special we are. We are tempted to think that this is not quite enough, but our past experiences with the Living Christ tell us that this is more than we could have hoped for.


We are never alone. We always have someone with us who fully understands our struggle and gently reminds us to relax and stop the fight. During these dark times, we are given a seed of hope. Somehow in the middle of the diminished activity, we are able to hear more clearly and see the small things---a nicely plumped pillow on which to lay our head, a hot shower that cocoons us beneath its spray, the sad but loving eyes of our dog, the hand that reaches out to us to hold when we are about to “lose it,” the sky that suddenly becomes bright blue after a morning of grey. Would we see these things if we were running at that “good clip?” I think not.


Even in these subdued, pensive and sometimes dark days, we are given glimpses of the little things that are truly gifts to us. Being able to see these things is no mistake. It is a gift of the kingdom of God that is available to all, but it takes leaving the list behind, embracing our poverty and allowing the wealth that has been promised to us to rest upon our heads.

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