The Beauty In Slowing Down
Life in the US is often characterized by a frenzied pace. With people rushing from one task to another; trying to fit in as much as possible into each day. This mindset is often glorified as being efficient, productive, and successful. I’ve been in this rhythm and mindset most of my life. The hustle and bustle of this daily life came with underlying stress, anger, and a lack of rest. I thought all of this was maintainable, before I started my family. I just kept going full force, most of the time on fumes. Fortunately, sometimes God has a way of forcing us to slow down and reassess our priorities. I experienced this firsthand in October 2021, when I slipped at home and tore my right PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), a ligament in the knee that provides stability to the joint. Talk about going from full speed to a full and complete stop in a matter of seconds!
Initially, the injury was a nuisance that I just had to overcome and move on from. After all, I had things to do and responsibilities to take care of. The day of my injury, I planned to go to a gathering that I felt fully capable of going to right after my fall without seeing a doctor first. I just had to be there. I had responsibilities to take care of.
God sends us people in our lives that see our red flags before we do. That day, that person was my husband. He told me to slow down, rest, and that the gathering would be okay without me. I was on the floor, planning how I was going to get to my gathering. I hadn’t assessed my injury or pain level yet. Turns out I was in excruciating pain, so I agreed to sit this one out. Just that night. That one gathering, that one place to go, that one responsibility; but God’s plan was greater.
Rewind a few weeks before the fall, God laid in my heart that I needed to rest in Him. Be still and be with Him first and foremost. He told me to continue to equip more people to assist me in my work and home life, to trust Him and rest. “Okay Lord, I will but … I still need to do this first. ” was my response.
God’s plans are greater. He knows what we need and when we need it, and sometimes, he will do whatever it takes for us to obey. This fall was what it took for me. After numerous doctor appointments and receiving my ultimate diagnosis, the reality set in. I had no choice but to be still, rest in God, and trust that all my plans and responsibilities would be taken care of.
Psalm 46:10 kept popping into my head and has remained in my heart ever since,
"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Message version states this:
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
Above everything. God called me to be with Him above everything and I didn’t listen. However, as I began to recover, I realized that the injury had given me an opportunity to slow down and reflect on my life. I now rely on others, equip them to help me, and learn how to trust that God will take care of things.
As I navigated the recovery process, I was reminded of Scripture that speaks to the importance of slowing down and taking time to rest. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, there is a time for everything, including a time to heal. In Mark 6:31, Jesus told his disciples, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Even God himself rested on the seventh day after creating the world (Genesis 2:2).
It is okay to slow down and take time to rest. It is essential to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and especially spiritually. We cannot be productive or successful if we are not well-rested and healthy.
There is value in relying on others and equipping them to help. I created a support system around me. Not just in doing things together, but in prayer as well. Galatians 6:2, says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." We are not meant to go through life alone, and it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help or prayer. When we allow others to help us, we not only receive the assistance we need, but we also build relationships and foster a sense of community; the community we sometimes don’t realize we yearned for. I know I didn’t know I needed it.
Appreciate the beauty of slowing down and taking things one step at a time. Life is not a race, and we do not need to rush through it. Each moment is precious, and it is essential to savor each one fully. When we slow down and take time to be still, we can connect with God, appreciate His creation, and find peace in the midst of chaos.
While tearing my PCL was not the best experience, it was a miraculous reminder of the importance of slowing down, relying on others, and taking time to rest. In a world that often glorifies busyness and productivity, it is essential to take a step back and reassess our priorities. Let us embrace the value of rest, the strength in community, and the beauty of each moment.
“Be still, and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10