Slow down when you need it. We often move too fast for the Lord to speak to us, and being slow for a bit lets us reconnect with ourselves and the Lord.
I spent my formative years in the “Bible Belt”; that area in the south where there are more churches than grocery stores and schools combined. I remember life was beautiful and slow. I remember my good neighbors. They were the kind of ladies that baked their own bread, sewed their daughters’ Sunday dresses, and always had warm cookies waiting for us when we came to visit. They seemed to do it all and they did it with a smile and a warm Christian welcome.
Their gardens were gorgeous, and their homes were clean. To me they were perfect. Now that I’m grown I realize that these ladies weren’t perfect. But they sure set a great example for me. And I look around my neighborhood and see many ladies who are just the same. They have it all together, and are highly involved with many causes. They seem to do everything with grace and without a trace of sweat on their brow.
They feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and help the sick. And I’m nowhere near that good. The funny thing about life is that when we see others we are seeing their best. We have an eye for the talents in others. We are gracious and gloss over the weaknesses in our friends and love them anyway. But I ask you, are we so kind to ourselves, especially if we have to slow down?
I have two wonderful neighbors, one on each side of me. And these two ladies are both super women. They do it all! But in an ironic turn of events they are both facing back surgery in the not too distant future. And I know they are struggling because they will have to slow down- if they haven’t already.
This is a hard reality of life. When illness and injury force us to change our daily habits, I know I personally really have a hard time slowing down. I may do it for a day, but then get moving again prematurely and find myself relapsing and taking twice as long to be back to normal. Dieter F. Uchtdorf (a high ranking LDS church leader) has counseled us:
An Apostle’s guidance
My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do “all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that [we] should run faster than [we have] strength. [But] it is expedient that [we] should be diligent, [and] thereby … win the prize.”
Brothers and sisters, diligently doing the things that matter most will lead us to the Savior of the world. That is why “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, … that [we] may know to what source [we] may look for a remission of [our] sins.” In the complexity, confusion, and rush of modern living, this is the “more excellent way.” …..
Brothers and sisters, indeed we have great reason to rejoice. If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.
Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most.
Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace.
For the complete text of his talk, please go to:
Think of it this way; if nobody was ever sick or injured or in need, who would we serve? I know it’s hard to be the one needing help, the one needing to slow down. But if we will be patient with ourselves we will find great blessings in those slowing down times.
When I was in college I caught Mono. I thought I was dying! As far as I was concerned it was the end of the world. I was in bed for 2 months, and really struggled with severe exhaustion. I remember lying there in bed feeling sorry for myself, praying for relief. And one day when I had finally gotten quiet enough inside, I started hearing the Savior answer me.
God is there
We had conversations. He is witty and wonderful. As I spoke with Him and heard His answers more clearly than I ever had in my life, He comforted me. It became a cherished time. I was no longer merely sick in bed, but I was with my Savior. It was during that time when I realized just how often He speaks and we don’t hear Him because we are too full of the noise of the world.
I’m so grateful that I had Mono. It’s funny to say it that way, but it’s true. If I’d never been forced to slow down I would never have gotten to have that wonderful experience with my Savior. I pray that as we each come upon our own challenges that we will remember to be gentle with ourselves.
I hope that we will give ourselves the time we need to heal and not force ourselves to keep going. Taking those times to be more quiet inside leads to great blessings. And I know that the Lord places those times in our lives so that we can draw closer to Him.
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.