Life in the Slow Lane

Down from Mt Brandywine

After eight slow days on the “mountain” with God, I wanted to maintain a more leisurely pace back in the valley of the shadow of life.

I took a hard look at my calendar and wondered how I was going to do everything without rushing. In addition to my usual work, I had promised to help my friend move. He had been homeless for a while and now finally found a place nearby. He didn’t have much; I could fit most of what he had temporarily stored at the church into my car. So I thought this would be a half-hour job.

The operative word here is “most.” What didn’t fit in had to be attached to a bike trailer that he built while I waited. The man’s an absolute genius with what he can construct with a set of tools and stuff destined for the dump. But it ended up taking four hours and there was nothing I could do but watch and wait.

Yet I sensed God knew that. God was fully aware of all I needed to do and–with divine wisdom–had decided I could afford to spend the afternoon this way. So I relaxed a little and went with the flow. The next day our contemplative group reflected on God’s expansive love.

What came to me in the silence was that I had joined God in loving our friend, and that meant a lot to both of them. I didn’t feel it at the time I was helping him; I had felt bored and impatient. But afterwards, when I saw the smile on my friend’s face, I felt good.

“Slow down,” God says when I am tempted to rush. “Trust me. Everything will get done on time.”

So I’m trying to engage my slow-twitch muscles. I’m taking time to listen longer to others and to myself while I bike places instead of driving. I’ve noticed that I begrudge the time it takes to prepare a meal or tidy my things. Perhaps I could learn to enjoy these activities instead.

Meanwhile, God, like a crossing guard, holds back the traffic of my life with one hand, halts the oncoming world with the other, and says, “Don’t rush her. She’s doing important work here.”

A Snail's Pace by Ken Slade

Let me serve love with my strength this day,
let me serve love with my strength.
In heart and mind and body this day
let me serve love.
— J. Philip Newell

Credits and References: “Coming down from Brandywine Mountain, B.C.” by Fred Hizsa. Used with permission. “A Snail’s Pace” by Ken Slade. used with permission. We were reflecting on Ephesians 3:14-21. Sounds of the Eternal: A Celtic Psalter by J. Philip Newell (Tuesday morning prayers)
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014, 2015.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Ignatian Spirituality, Poverty of Spirit, Stories, Wednesday Lunch Club and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Life in the Slow Lane

  1. Janet Hill says:

    Hi Esther,

    Exactly what I needed to hear (read) today and I face a list of “to do’s” that is way too long !



  2. Esther Hizsa says:

    You’re welcome!


  3. Pingback: The Other Voice in My Head | An Everyday Pilgrim

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