It 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.