Slow Down

I used to attend a men's Bible study on Wednesday mornings, and one of the books we studied was Numbers. There are some great sections in this book. The seventh chapter is not one of them. It is, to put it kindly, repetitive; and, in the interest of time, we men breezed through it instead of reading and studying it word for word.

So it was fun to read a recent post on the Desiring God blog about the purpose of wordiness. The last reason arrested me: "Patience in reading God’s word may be a test of the frenzy of our pace and our demanding attitude toward the Bible that it be the way we want, not the way God made it."

This hyper efficiency seeker says "ouch." Repetition gnaws at us because we care about maximizing productivity. But what if we valued truth over that? And what if slowing down was itself a useful thing to do now and again? Not a bad thing to consider during this season of Lent, amidst a generation and society that ever seems on the go, about a faith discipline that is best described by Eugene Peterson as "a long obedience in the same direction."

"Slow," of course, is a bad word in our times; an insult, if you call someone or something it. "Still" is even more foreign, for who has time for "still." Tragically, we avoid "slow" and "still" because we are afraid of ourselves, of what we will have to think about if we cease our striving and put aside our self-medicating forms of entertainment and avocation.

You don't need to join a monastery. You don't even need to read Numbers 7. But it may be good for your soul to slow down every now and again.

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