When I slow down

a yellow sign on a tree

“… that mind is the master weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness.” James Allen

It happens every time I get into the car, traveling to work, home or adding highway miles on a trip, but when I arrive, I’m aware I did not pay full attention to the route. My eyes were on the road, my hands on the wheel, my intent clear, but my mind was fully engaged in thought about the day, life, trivia, God, golf or anything my brain allows or chooses.

Arriving, I realize I do not know how I got there. Yes, I knew the route. I drove it. I reached my destination, but mixed between the curves and bends, the blending and blurring of asphalt and cars and muting the constant highway hum, were my thoughts, traveling at the speed of life.

Susan B. Anthony wrote, “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always seems to coincide with their own desires.” Our desires take us to our destination. When we come to the end, how did we get there? And what about those thoughts? Where is God then?

Maybe, as James Allen expresses, our thoughts brought us to our circumstance. And if we look around and discover our circumstance is not to our liking, perhaps our thoughts did not go far enough or we just moved too fast or were misdirected. And what do we say to the inner garment of character? What do we say to God? Or more, what does God say to us?

On my daily walk, I move slow enough to let my mind wander and release. And as I pass by the church, that old Cross on the steeple punctures my thoughts. The Cross is empty, like the tomb, and if Christ is not on it, I realize Easter cannot be a calendar event. Passing, I hear God say, “Patience is the better part of wisdom.” “Slow down, hear my words. Let my thoughts be your thoughts,” he says. Listening, my mind renews.

Life is but a sojourn, a wayfarer’s journey. We travel, we move, we want, we think at the pace of life, this damn demanding life. Sometimes it’s hard to see the Cross at the speed of our desire. The calendar passes, but the Cross never does.

Like those mindless trips in the car, when my destination nears, when I slow down, and suddenly, the route is clear, I grasp what God intends. I turn my thought to him.

Is he not the master weaver after all?

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).



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