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Slow down, you’re moving too fast

carApparently the folks at the Calgary Police department like my car.  I know this because they send me pictures of it fairly regularly.

Yes, I am a fast driver.  I know that about myself. I have often viewed the ‘Estimated Time of Arrival’ display on my GPS as a challenge to overcome.  I have relished at my ability do a 7 hour road-trip in a little less than 6 hours.  I have joked that speed limits are mere suggestions and that if you’re not going to drive fast, why drive at all?

Recently, I began to wonder whether my speeding was merely a product of having a ‘lead foot’, or where there could be an underlying spiritual issue at play.  Did my speeding speak to the manner in which I spiritually approach life around me?  Could my racing through the streets of Calgary be a symptom of the manner in which I try to race through the activities and duties of my day?  Could the desire to get to my destination as quickly as possible actually create an inability to acknowledge the presence of God in the beauty of the moment?

So I tried slowing down, and to my surprise, I didn’t get bored.  In fact I got fascinated by the scenery around me.  I felt I had time to acknowledge the people on the streets.  I had time to reflect on who they might be, and what God might be doing in their lives.  I felt I had the ability to soak in the blue skies of the day, and gaze at the contours of the snow-capped mountains in the distance.  Driving became a sort of spiritual exercise in which I began to be aware of the myriad of ways God makes his presence known.

You see, the act of slowing down allowed me to remove myself from the expectations and deadlines to which I am constantly racing towards. That internal clock that continually tells me I am not being as quick as I can be, as productive as I should be, or as effective as I must be, was silenced as I engaged my life with God in the intricacy of the present moment.  Slowing down allowed me to recognize the great spiritual truth, that God rarely calls us to ‘go faster’.  Instead He calls us to ‘be still’; to ‘consider the lilies of the field’, and to ‘wait for the Lord.’

We live in a face paced world and it is easy to get caught up with the quickness of it.  Yet the call of God on our lives is not one in which we are called to rush toward a perceived goal.  We are called acknowledge that God is alive and present in this moment.  God does not call us to rush to him, as some destination held out for us in the future, but to realize and enter into his presence and activity as it is presently.  God is active in us and through us, and his blessings are bountiful.  We risk missing all of this when we speed through our lives.

So the next time you are in your car, try slowing down.  Slow down not just your speed, but also your perceptions and attitudes as it relates to how you interact with the tapestry of life around you.   As you make your way through the streets, attempt to be still and wait for the Lord.  Who knows, you just might find your car to be a place of powerful communion with God.


Kyle Norman

About Kyle Norman

I am a Priest in the Diocese of Calgary, serving the wonderful people of Holy Cross, Calgary. I watch reality television, I drink Starbucks coffee, and I read celebrity gossip columns. I am also a magician and often use magic tricks to teach the children at church the lessons of the Bible. I believe that God is present in the intricacy of our lives, and thus I believe that Pop Culture can provide intriguing lessons, examples, and challenges for our lives of faith.

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6 Responses to Slow down, you’re moving too fast

  1. So I have to ask. The title- were you thinking of SImon and Garfunkel…. or did I just date myself with that question….

  2. I have to say, Kyle… since one major (major) ticket early in my ministry days, I was forced to reconsider my driving habits. I love your reflection on taking life slow. But I think it also leaves room for us to consider the risks of living life too fast (are there penalties? what are the risks we may actually take life away from self or others?)

  3. We pray for the people who run red lights and stop signs, who do not signal their turns and who hog the passing lane. Lord hear our prayer.

  4. Thanks for this. I too have over the years had a lead foot….though I have a much less ‘animated’ drive to work than you do (mine is 4 lane divided highway through the rolling hills driving toward the rockies) I still find that when I slow down, indeed the drive makes me keenly aware of the beauty that surrounds me and the blessings which abound in my life.
    The good news is I have begun to slow down (even if its just because of cruise control and too many photographs taken by local law enforcement). I would like to think that it is due to my increased and growing spirituality – truth is, I think I’m just getting older and realize that pace simply doesn’t get me where I’m going like I once thought it did… nevertheless – great thoughts about ‘being still’…..:)

  5. I love this piece Kyle, as I also have a heavy foot it spoke to me, thank you

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