Slow Down

Denise Vredevoogd

Read: Proverbs 19:1-21

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity . . . and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. (vv. 1-2)

“Haste makes waste” the saying goes. Is this as true for you as it is for me? Hurrying often results in a stubbed toe, broken glass, a spilled mess, or forgetting something important. Ironically, trying to hurry a job that requires thorough or detailed concentration often results in work that has to be redone, adding time to the project rather than saving time.

This proverb warns us that those who make haste will miss their way. Rushing through our days hampers our ability to be perceptive. Many things in nature also testify to the value of slow. It seems to take a long time for eggs to hatch or for a butterfly to emerge from a chrysalis, but the process can’t be rushed. We’re often impatient for good things to happen, but waiting is often the wiser choice.

A century ago, French Jesuit philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote a poem titled “Patient Trust” about living without haste. “Above all, trust in the slow work of God,” the poem begins. “Give Our Lord the benefit of believing / that his hand is leading you, / and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself / in suspense and incomplete.” Living and walking with integrity requires slowing down, evaluating priorities, and trusting that God is pruning and shaping us for future growth. Just wait. And take time to thank him today. —Denise Vredevoogd

Prayer: We trust you, Lord. Help us to slow down and notice how you are working in our lives.