Emmaus Sunrise1So often we hear this when things are running out of control, or at least seem like they are. Maybe our new teenage driver is going a little too fast, the person behind us is following a little too closely, or someone’s running through the house (possibly even with scissors or a lollipop in hand). Then those two words come flying out, usually at a high decibel. SLOW DOWN!

These are words of warning. Someone is trying to keep us safe, keep us from harming ourselves or those around us. So I guess we could say that many times they may seem like angry words, but they are really spoken in love and care. The other person loves us so much, that they would do almost anything to get us to understand the reckless nature of our behavior.

Why is it so hard to understand what God is trying to tell us through the words of the Psalmist when we hear these words? “Be still and know that I am God.” There have been many times that I was so involved in ministries in and out of the church, singing with Alleluia Quartet, and trying to maintain balance with family. But I was ‘doing’ so much that I didn’t have time for the most important piece of the puzzle, growing in my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I guess you could say that I was like Martha from that story in scripture in which Mary sits down next to Jesus and just listens to him, growing in that friendship. Martha was busy trying to make sure everything was just right, but missing out on an incredible opportunity to be still and know God.

There have been many times when God has told me to slow down. These times came through health issues, getting sick, and even through the wise words from my wife telling me that I’m going to fast and involved in to many things. Yes, God speaks through all of these situations and more. We just need to hear that voice when it cries out, “Slow Down!!”

I know that there are a lot of people like me out there who might be hearing this message and thinking that it’s about time we slow down. I think our lives depend on it. There are four things that happen when we slow down, according to Kirk Byron Jones in his book “Addicted to Hurry.” We don’t see clearly, because we are always looking to the next thing. Life is a blur. We also are not able to listen deeply. How can we truly hear others, when we can’t slow down enough to pause and listen. We can’t think clearly because we have no time to reflect on what happened during our day. And finally, we can’t savor life fully. When we are so busy and running from one thing to another, we fail to really celebrate this wonderful life we are living.

God does not want that for us! “Be still and know that I am God.” These are the words we are given by our creator and they are words of life. As I challenged the congregation at Epworth Church, I challenge all who will hear to take 15 minutes out of your day. It can be in the morning, during a break at work, or maybe before bedtime, but take these important 15 minutes to spend alone with God. Read scripture, spend time in prayer, and most importantly, listen. Hear what God has been trying to tell you for so long.

Please, slow down, your life depends upon it…