Slow Down!!

  • Randy Karlberg
Hourglass in the rocks

One thing that has not been a problem for many people lately is slowing down their pace of life.  With COVID concerns all around most people have taken to cutting out many normal practices.  It seems like many people have taken on those projects that they just haven’t been able to get around to until now.  There also has been a movement toward households spending more time at the dinner table together than previous schedules might have allowed.  But have we really slowed down our life, or have we just reoriented it? 

Along with these schedule adjustments have come anxiety and stress regarding the future.  There are so many unknowns.  Opinions regarding the future are plentiful.  But if people are truly honest in their statements they must admit that really no one has clear visionary insight.  This uncertainty begs questions of our belief in the faithfulness of God.  Is He really in control?  What is He trying to accomplish in my life and the life of those around me? 

It is these questions that humbled me as I listened to Psalm 46 being read recently.  This is a perfect Psalm for our current climate!  The first two verses begin with, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.”  The claim from the Psalmist is that God is the place where we find our refuge and strength in the midst of chaos.  The chaos described in Psalm 46 is cataclysmic chaos!  Outside of the recent significant earthquakes and subsequent tsunami warnings, we, in Alaska, have not experienced cataclysmic chaos in months!  So to make the claim that God really is our strength in the midst of massive destruction and unrest is very bold!  What do you do with that?  Do you take that to heart and meditate on the impact that makes? 

To answer those questions, I am personally struck with the command, yes command, at the end of the Psalm.  Verse 10, “Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!”  So if I read this right, one of the reasons that we have massive powerful displays on the earth is so that the nations will lift up praises and be in awe of God.  But for us personally that starts with “BE STILL.”   The New American Standard Bible translates this command as “cease striving.”  We must “slow down” and take the time that is needed to be with God and realize who He is!  There is no substitute for unhurried time alone with God!  Stop striving for accomplishments or comforts in this world and just “Be Still” before your Heavenly Father! 

I am reminded of a song that I have not heard in decades, but it goes like this.

“Slow down, slow down.  Be still, my child.  Be still and wait on the Spirit of the Lord.  Slow down and hear my voice, and know that I am God.” 

How can you know God if you don’t take the time to know Him?  How can you trust that God is your refuge and strength if you don’t invest in your relationship with Him?  Why don’t you stop talking to God, but rather start listening to Him?  He patiently waits for us to realize that He would like us to know Him and thus help lead the nations in singing praises to our King!  

Slow Down!