Choose to Slow Down

Another Year of Choices

By Barbara Dahlgren 

Speed Limit Sign - free from flickr.comA few years ago I got a speeding ticket on my way to church. I held God personally responsible for this. God could have caused the police officer to look the other way, issue me a warning instead of a ticket, or even be on a different road. And when the policeman stopped me, could not God have displayed a halo around my head so the officer would know I was about my Father’s business? After all, I was on my way to church – which was a good thing. I had to be there early to help with worship – which was a good thing. I was late leaving the house because I was working on our church newsletter – which was a good thing.

Amazingly, the policeman seemed to be totally unimpressed with my good works. He was more concerned with my safety (or his ticket quota, but I prefer to think “safety” because I was definitely speeding). As he placed the ticket in my hand and bid me “God speed” (his feeble attempt at humor), I thought I heard the voice of God saying, “Sloweth thou down!” And I am not a person who usually hears voices.

Psalm 46.10 - from church art subscription

In our busy world, it’s hard to slow down. I guess this was a problem in Biblical times, too. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” The reference here would be more toward, “Just relax because I have everything under control,” or in today’s vernacular, “Chill out!” However, I think it’s reasonable to stretch the thought into “Sloweth thou down, O Busy Bee, and thinketh not that you are above the law just because you doeth some good things for me.”

Moses gave the same concept in Exodus 14:13-14 when he told the people “Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD…” Sometimes we get so busy, we can’t see what God is doing.

When some hear the Biblical phrase “Be still,” they think of a calm admonition, whispered in hushed tones. Those of us who’ve had children might think of it as a parent grabbing an overactive kid, locking eyes with him or her and saying, “Can’t you be still for just a minute and listen to me?”

Consider this… “Being still” does not imply limiting our mobility or being stagnant Christians. But rather, “being still” means not to get so caught up in what we’re doing that we lose sight of the greatness of God. In other words, “Sloweth thou down a bit” and see God more clearly. After all, it’s all about Him – not about us.

And who knows? That speeding ticket could have slowed me down just enough to save my life. The Lord does work in mysterious ways!


Breathe Deep - free from

Suggestions for practicing this choice…

Plan some quiet time with God in your day. This is above and beyond your prayer time. Just 10 minutes or so to meditate on God, His greatness, His love, etc. without distractions can do wonders on your outlook on life.

When you are frazzled, take a few minutes to just breathe in slowly and deeply. Think about some things you are truly thankful for.

Practice leaving about 10 minutes earlier than you think you should for appointments. Most of us have a false concept of how much time we really have to get somewhere. This alleviates stress. There’s nothing wrong with being a few minutes early or even on time for a change.

Try sitting in silence or walking in silence without distractions.

Turn your troubles over to God; He has everything under control so just “chill out!”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.