I continue to reflect on the lessons I sense God was trying to teach me during the 2020 pandemic, one of the early ones was “slow down!” So many things came to a screeching halt; like attending sporting events, eating out, watching a movie, etc. All of a sudden our over-booked calendars were cleared of many events and some us didn’t know what to do with the extra time.
Being forced to slow down reminds me of the phrase in the 23rd Psalm, where the shepherd (the Lord) “makes me lie down in green pastures. Making someone lie down sounds like a mother making her energetic child lay down for a nap even though they don’t think they need to rest.
When I used to live in the DR Congo, I remember hearing a common proverb spoken many times. In Swahili it said, “Haraka haraka, hakuna baraka!” which basically means “if you hurry too much, you will not be blessed.”
I remember the day one of my close Congolese friends, Jean-Pierre, shared with me a discovery he had made about Americans. Jean-Pierre had worked closely with American missionaries for many years and he told me, I think one of the highest values Americans hold is speed, they are always in a hurry.
As soon as he told me that, I reflected on our love for speed with everything; computers, cars, or how quickly our cheeseburger is ready. We are definitely afflicted with “hurry sickness.” When I asked Jean-Pierre what he thought was the highest value that Congolese people had, he responded, “people and relationships.”
Reflections: How did you respond to being made to slow down during the pandemic? As life begins to return to normal (or our new normal), what plans do you have to slow the pace of your life?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.