We live in a world moving not just at high speed, but at top speed, and which is ever pushing those boundaries. We jet to the four corners of the earth. We now demand live, global reporting. Five minutes ago is ancient history. Fast food outlets must produce their wares at faster rates than ever, with some advertising ‘at your door in 15 minutes or less or it’s free!’ (just imagine the heartrate of the one making those deliveries!) Purchases of just about anything from anchovies to bathmats can be made online with next-day delivery – guaranteed! Even some surgical procedures are now minimally invasive for speedier recoveries.
But what is the factory setting of the speed of our souls? Can it be sped up or is it one setting only? How much and how fast can we healthily take in information, regardless of how much and how fast it is made available? Are there signs of soul overwhelm? Multiple psychiatric reports suggest that with an increase in technology there is an increase in loneliness, despair, depression, suicide. In children, increased ‘screen time’ leads to a corresponding decrease in vital face-to-face play time. Recently, a psychiatric journal urged people to go back to church as a cure for these symptoms.
So, what is the speed of our souls? In a word, grace. Jesus, the perfect man, lived at the speed of grace, intentionally. Never hurried. Never distracted. Never anxious. Never confused. Always committed. Always loving. Always on task. Always faithful. In sync with the Father’s will. Never running ahead. Always in step. This deliberately chosen speed of living included times of activity, of moving, of teaching, of rest, of prayer, of restorative celebration. This deliberately chosen speed of living kept a continual river of grace flowing, kept a healthy balance in his day-to-day, kept a healthy perspective on the massive task to be carried out.
I think choosing to live at the speed of our souls wipes away anxiety and worry by aligning us with the source of the Father’s provision, by communicating the appropriate times for each activity, each non-activity, and by allowing us to hear the sweetest of invitations: to get away with Him – far from the noise and haste, outer and inner – and simply listen for His voice. May it be said of us that we are those who listen well, both to the Father and to one another. PD