Slow down...

The other day at lunch I was musing with a church friend that at this point in my life there are clearly some things I want and need to explore more deeply. There are also a few others that I don't care about at all and a whole bunch of things that interest me to varying degrees but take more time, energy and zest than I possess. Such is reality for me these days: I don't want MORE, I want DEPTH. That is a distinction I couldn't grasp thirty years ago.

Back in the day, I grew frustrated that life was too busy, too demanding and sometimes too hard for me to focus on my most serious interests. Today I tend to think: guess what? It is ALWAYS too demanding and frenetic - and it will always be so no matter how frazzled I feel. So I have to make some choices, yes? It is up to me to discern where to give my attention and time - my heart and soul and mind - knowing that even without me, the world will carry on very well with all the rest. 

And here's something else I sense is true: this is not something I can share with any of my younger colleagues without coming off like an old fart or some pompous windbag. There are days now when I know I'm becoming a cranky old man, so I want to stay as far away from old fart and pompous windbag as I can! That means that I erase a lot of Facebook posts and delete a variety of emails and try to keep my mouth shut from time to time in public. It is ok to rant a bit later in the car, but there are simply some things that are better kept to myself: not only do they not translate across the years, they can only be experienced when the time is right. 

I rather think Ernest Hemingway was on to something when he said, "No, that is the great fallacy: the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.” At least sometimes - and only among some men (and women) because I know all too many who have turned into fools or cynics. But being careful... I like that.  I also think that Mark Twain got it right when he quipped:
Age is an issue of mind over matter: if you don't mind, it doesn't matter!"

As the wise old preacher in Ecclesiastes said: there is a time for every season under heaven - a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

For those who have the time - and inclination - you might find this link by Sandi Villarreal about "Slow Reading and Slow Responding" of value. I loved it:

http://sojo.net/blogs/2014/05/15/praise-slow-response

Blessed Sabbath...

Comments

Peter said…
Same here: I catch myself walking fast, and slow down. Slow down everything, in fact. Life us a marathon with Occasional (note emphasis) sprints...

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