“Sir…sir…SIR!!!” The lady behind me knocked me out of my trance as I stood staring off into space and daydreaming. I was standing in line at the grocery store, and the lady (who worked there) addressed me one more time. “Sir….you can use the ‘self check out’ lane to get through the line faster. There is no one over there so you can get right through.” I politely declined and told her that I do not mind waiting. I wasn’t in a hurry, and I could tell that the gentleman in front of me was not going to take long to check out.
When I told the lady that I can just wait, she gave me a very odd look. The look almost seemed to imply that she was surprised that I did not want to get through the line faster. I figured…I only had a bag of chips to buy so why do I need to rush? At that same moment, I looked up and, for the first time noticed the people around me who were at this store for the same reason. Every one of them seemed to be in a hurry and most of them strategically placed themselves in the shortest lines to get out of the store in the fastest time possible. Everyone had something to do and somewhere to be…and for some reason I felt as if God gave me the opportunity to see everything in slow motion…as if I were observing from the outside.
Where are we going? Many of us don’t know the answer to this question, but we all know we need to get their quickly. How many of us have the courage to simply stop and obey God’s command to “Be still and know that I am God”? I think slowing down and truly observing the world around you should be a Biblical spiritual discipline. When I die, I am going to start a petition in Heaven to make it official. It may be that we are afraid to slow down because we think that the world will move ahead of us, and we will be left behind. Maybe that’s what we need….to allow the world to leave us behind, and for us to separate ourselves from the drama, expectations, and activity of false living. By false living, I mean the type of life the world values as important.
Slow down…..take time to breathe and observe. In the midst of slowing down, God may want to tell you something. You know, the same God we assume doesn’t speak to people anymore? Yes…that God. Perhaps he is waiting for us to shut up and listen.