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runninstreamIt would be ludicrous to discuss simplifying your life without talking about the need to slow down. Have you noticed that life comes at you pretty fast? As I make my way around our community I’m always amazed at how hurried and frustrated people can be when they get behind the wheel of a car or, in my case, a pick up truck (Hey, it’s Texas!). It’s an interesting thing, this human nature. We rush from red light to red light burning fossil fuel like it’s going to last forever, just to get across town a few minutes faster. It makes no sense whatsoever.

I have found much peace in slowing down on purpose. That’s right, being intentional about every move I make. One of my favorite authors, Dr. Frank Laubach, called it an “economy of movement.” I have experimented with this principle in little things like taking out the trash, unloading a dishwasher or taking down our Christmas decor. In other words, intentionally slowing down and really “being” in the moment. The goal isn’t to finish a task, but make a mundane task a holy moment and a quality experience.

I have also experimented with this when it comes to driving. The speed limit on my 10 mile commute to town is 60 mph. Most people either drive it at 70 and are anxious and hurried, or they drive it at 45 mph and are not worried about getting anywhere. Both are extremes and can be a hazard to others. So, I decided to drive one to two miles an hour over the speed limit and no more. At first it was difficult. Like most other people my tendency is to pick it up a bit. I timed my 12 minute commute to the office while speeding and by driving the speed limit and I found no noticeable difference in the time of my commute! None! Conclusion? Be intentional, drive the speed limit, relax and enjoy the trip.

The key is to actually “be in the moment” whereby the goal becomes the experience and the journey and not just the destination. I know this is nothing new, but it seems we must be reminded again and again of the value of stewarding the moments. I have been applying this to everything I do and am finding a much richer experience throughout my day while executing what are typically mundane or menial tasks. Experiment with this. Slow down… on purpose and with purpose. Savor every bite of your next meal, even if it’s fast food. Take time to experience each moment of the day. Enjoy the journey for a change. Life will begin to take on much more meaning and the peace will radiate out of you and touch others.

Slowing Down,
Jimmy

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4 Comments

  1. AWESOME!!! I am printing this and posting it on my fridge! I have days that I do slow down on purpose, then days I hurry in everything. I find much more joy in the slowing down. Thank you for the reminder.

    This post was great for me, because sometimes I see so much “hurry” in others, that if I myself “slow down”, I almost feel guilty that I am not “doing enough”. I think our society is trying to find fulfillment in “how much we can do” in a short time.

    Last thing: I think to “slow down”, one has to have organization in their life. I find that a day unorganized, is a day of frustration and hurry. If we organize, we can usually fit everything in with time to spare.

  2. Thanks Ruth, I’m glad it spoke to you and confirmed some things for you. It’s easy to feel like something is wrong with you when everyone else seems to be running at a frenetic pace.

    We have to choose our pace and not let culture or pressure (dare I say “peer pressure?) dictate our rhythm and speed. Great to hear from you on this more personal PJ blog!

    Stay on the journey!
    Jimmy

  3. OMGosh…that “Be in the moment” has been like a mantra for me over the past two months. I have been trying to impress that upon Martin and the kids. When they are either grumbling about something or forever anticipating the next item on the agenda – no one around here ever seems to savor “the now.” Fabulous message – totally spoke to me and where I am “at” lately.

  4. Thanks Poppy! It’s so easy to get focused on what is coming that we actually miss what is right in front of us in our present reality. I don’t want to be caught living my life vicariously in a future that has not even happened. Welcome to Simple!


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