In the West our focus in life seems to be on going fast – whether it’s fast cars, fast food, fast delivery, fast tracked or fast broadband!
Some people live life fast from the cradle to the grave, going quickly from one activity to another without any kind of break, only really stopping when they die.
But surely there is more to life than just going fast? It seems odd that in our modern world, we make a virtue of being fast and busy all the time.
Over these past few months of lockdown, for some, life has been busier and perhaps faster than normal. But for many people these past few months life has been slower and less busy.
As parts of the world anticipate moving out of lockdown and much of life going back to normal, wouldn’t it be good if one thing that we took with us from these past few months is actually a slower pace of life?
The trouble is that the word ‘slow’ can often be used in a negative way when we talk about slow workers, slow learners, slow drivers, a slow economy and, worst of all, slow broadband!
But what if slow is actually the best way to love and care for ourselves and love and care for others well? In a book called ‘The 3 Mile an Hour God’ the author, a Japanese theologian Kosuke Koyama writes how true love slows down enough to really listen and love others:
“Love has its speed. It is a spiritual speed. It is a different kind of speed from the technological speed to which we are accustomed. It goes on in the depth of our life, whether we notice or not, at three miles an hour. It is the speed we walk and therefore the speed the love of God walks.”
The speed of 3 miles an hour, as the speed of love, comes from the idea that Jesus walked everywhere, at about 3 miles an hour, and in doing so he noticed others and was attentive to them. And because, in the Christian tradition, Jesus is the image of the invisible God and God is love, then maybe the speed of love is 3 miles an hour?
For us to live life well and love and care for ourselves and for others better, maybe we just need to slow down a bit.
As we move into greater freedoms can I encourage you not to speed up and live your life fast again? If, for you, the speed of life hasn’t stopped being fast, then consider if perhaps you need to slow down to the speed of love?
How fast do you live?
By Jon Honour,
Vicar of Trinity Church in Guernsey, Channel Islands and
Member of the Cinnamon Network International Leadership Council