Slow Enough to Notice the Details

Until a month ago, life on earth was cruising along at breakneck speed. Everyone was in a hurry. No time to stop and rest, no time to pause and ponder, no time to be grateful.

Then suddenly, the breaks screeched and we all came to a standstill. Then the waiting began. We heard people saying how they couldn’t wait to get back to normal. Adults expressed how bored they were, forgetting how they had counseled their children in times past to “use their brains and find something to do.”

The Lord actually began teaching me these lessons several years ago. I was confined to my bed for 8 weeks as I recovered from hip surgery. After I tired of watching movies and reading, I began searching for something to occupy the long days. I learned some new craft skills, started new journals, and began to notice things I hadn’t seen for a while because I had been so busy.
I remember sitting for a long time watching it snow one day. It was fascinating how the wind shifted and the snow danced its way to the ground. Who has time to watch snow fall? It’s amazing what you notice when you have nowhere to go. No time schedule, no place to be, just living on hold.

That’s what we feel like we’re doing now—living life on hold. It’s as though we’ve pushed the pause button on our remote and the TV screen has frozen in place until we can pick up where we left off. But do we really want to pick up where we left off? I don’t.

Could it be that God wants us to take time to notice our surroundings more?

I have been taking walks in the mornings and being intentional about observing things as I walk. I’ve noticed tiny little flowers that aren’t really visible unless you look for them. I’ve noticed the daily changes in the tree branches as the leaves have begun their spring growth. I feel like I’m seeing things I’ve taken for granted for a long time.

It might be a good time to begin to notice other people. We are so used to breezing by people because we have a hundred other things on our minds. Perhaps we should take notice of others now. Maybe we could be of some help to them.

When we look back on this time of isolation and limited activities, we have a couple of potential scenarios. We might remember that we learned something valuable when we surrendered to the slower pace.  Or we will remember how impatient we were, fretting about when this would be over.

In every trial we will ever face, we have the choice to set our own attitudes. Until this quarantine ends, why not choose to just rest and enjoy the pause?

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” – Job 12:7-10 (ESV)