Dear Friends in Christ,
I have taken up the practice this summer of riding my bike to work when I can. The ride is only about 15 minutes longer than my commute by car, but it is a completely different experience.
I roll along Four Mile Run and am surprised by the beauty in the midst of the suburbs. I pass by lush community gardens and notice that half of them are filled not with vegetables but with flowers. I ride through Chirilagua and stop to buy sliced mango for a snack.
Changing my speed makes a difference. I am no longer flashing by sidewalks and intersections as fast as I can. I go at a pace that allows me to absorb all the world around me. I have time to see.
I am not the first to notice that Jesus goes at a slower pace, too. He walked everywhere, of course. And he didn’t seem to walk particularly fast. Even with his face turned towards Jerusalem, his ministry was remarkably inefficient. He stopped to talk. He got interrupted all the time. Which is how he saw things that no one else did.
By the time you read this, I will be on vacation, where I will be trying to move slowly through the landscapes around me. I will engage in that most wonderful luxury of time away, which is simply taking time, whether to look at the view or to have the long overdue long conversation.
My hope is that you, too, will go slow in August. My biking practice reminds me that slowness is not only the luxury of a holiday. It is a practice available to us in our ordinary days. It is the sandwich made from scratch rather than purchased at the drive through. It is the handwritten note rather than the text message. It is the breath that has time to go all the way into the diaphragm rather than rebounding from a tight chest.
There’s a world of beauty and need around us. Slow down and take a good look when you can.
Yours in Christ,