Slow Down

The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.” Luke 10: 41-42

Reflection based on this Sunday’s reading.

It was past midnight and I was driving at 80 mph in the newly constructed highway.

My friend was with me on the front passenger side and she was sound asleep.  It was late and as I was driving, my head felt somewhat foggy.  I don’t know if I dozed off for a second or what.  All I knew was I suddenly saw the rear end of a truck.  I turned my steering wheel slightly to the right side and then the car was out of control…

The car started skidding to the right side.  As my friend woke up, she instantly realized what was happening.  There was fear on her face as she placed both hands on the dashboard and started saying out loud, “Jesus!  Jesus!  Jesus!”

We were nearing the wall on the right side so I turned my steering wheel to the left and I still couldn’t control it as the car skid to the left side.  We were about to hit the middle island so I turned it again to the right.  Then when we were in the middle of the road, I tried to gain control of the steering wheel by turning it slightly left and right.  The car wiggled slightly then it stayed in the middle.  I was back in control.

I looked at the rear window and realized the truck had stopped way behind us and there was another car that stopped alongside the truck.  It was as if they were keeping distance for safety and also watching what would happen to us.

I then parked the car on the right emergency shoulder.

I remember my hands shaking so much.  I was scared.  And so was my friend.  We could’ve died that day.

After a few minutes, I mustered some courage and drove off again.  I apologized to my friend and let her know I couldn’t drive at the normal speed.  I just drove at 30 mph because my hands were still trembling.  I told her we’ll eventually get home but it would just take extra time.

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Ps. 127:2

The Rat Race.

That’s the world we live in now.

We live in a very busy world.  And if you’re a working mom, you know exactly what I mean.  There’s just too much “to do list” in our heads all the time.

We wake up early to take care of ourselves and our family.  Then go to work.  Then try to go home early and just do some of the stuff at home so that we can pick up the kids and prepare for dinner.  Then there’s chores.  Then if you have older kids, in between all of that are their extra curricular after school activities.  Then you have to do the bedtime routines.  And next thing you know, it’s time for you to go to sleep early (if possible) because you have to wake up early. For some moms who are trying to finish a master’s degree or other schooling, then there’s school work afterwards.

Very busy indeed.  I’m sure there’s a lot more stuff I missed out.

And as we go about our busy days, we have all of our anxieties.  Our anxieties about our children’s safety.  Our anxieties about preparing for our children’s future and their college funding.  Our anxieties about our own concerns at work or school.  Our anxieties about our retirement.

 There’s that inner nervousness.  Sometimes even rapid heart rates or palpitations.  The mind races too fast.  There’s always that feeling and push to “control” things.

But here’s the irony of things, in our effort to gain control … when we don’t slow down –  we can lose all that control.

Just like in the highway incident above, when we go too fast there’s the potential for accidents.  That’s why there are speed limits.

For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  Matthew 16:25

We need to slow down and let God be in control.  God is bigger than our problems.  He is still on the throne.

We need to quiet our minds and find peace in our busy lives.

We need reassurance in God’s comforting presence.

We need time to rest and recharge so we can “sharpen our axe.”

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

Our lives always need focus and balance.

So slow down once in a while.  Take time to stop and smell the roses every now and then.

Make a decision to take time to pray and be refreshed in God’s presence.  And leave all your anxieties and burdens at the foot of the cross.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Advertisements

39 thoughts on “Slow Down

  1. I often thought about the rat race. I even have an Excel sheet where I listed the number of hours per activity that consumes my time every day. There’s only about 3 hours of left per day to relax and enjoy “me” time and family bonding.

    Like

    1. How true, Rochkirstin. In my case, the only way I could get some exercise and prayer/meditation time was by waking up earlier. And sometimes I couldn’t do it when I end up sleeping late. It’s really challenging. But I think in the long run it’s worth it. I’ve tried living my life without prayer and it’s more difficult. The blessings seem to come much easier when God is put first.

      Like

  2. We all need a slow-down day at least once or even twice a week. We should take our time and smell the roses and enjoy our family, enjoy the fruits of our labor. It should not be all work full blast all the time.

    Like

  3. This is really true we just keep running every day and night to take good position in everyday’s rat race.So such kinda several accident happens daily here,sometime we get it from news,friends family or sometimes experienced by our own.We really need to be slow and be careful by our own.Nice share.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Debarpan. Rushing can be counterproductive and make us produce errors. Neglecting to spend time with our relationships is not healthy and can backfire at us.

      Like

  4. I so know what you mean. I tend to be a Martha in everything I do. I don’t understand it sometimes since I’m such a minimalist when it comes to things and all, but when it comes to doing things, I don’t know why I make things too busy for myself and for everyone around me sometimes. Thanks for the reminder.

    Like

  5. This is a very incite full post. The rat race on the highway seems like such a common thing– many people don’t realize what’s truly going on because of the false sense of urgency. My husband does this while driving also. We might not be in a rush, but his foot on the pedal thinks otherwise. We should slow down sometimes and let “Jesus take the wheel” (Carrie Underwood) so that we might not experience scares like the one you had.

    Like

    1. I hope you and your family stay safe. I certainly would not like anyone to experience what I did. I used to live in New York and I felt this “urgency” mostly in that city. Everything is fast paced. If you can’t keep up, your work will pile up and you’ll be left behind. Based on what’s going on in our world, most people would probably associate themselves with “Martha”. But during the hurricane of our day, there are moments when Jesus draws us close to him. These are the “Mary” moments. And it doesn’t take long to pause and say a short prayer. (Someone once coined them as “breath prayers” – because they’re so short they last only with one breath.) It could be as short as “Jesus help me” or “Come Holy Spirit Come.” Once in a while, we do need to slow down and let Jesus take the wheel. It sure would be nice if we could let God be in cruise control.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Fernando! Yes, I am a work in progress. 🙂 That’s one of the reasons I started this blog. To meditate on God’s word deeper. God’s word is our armor against doubts and gives us faith. God bless! 🙂

      Like

  6. I can definitely relate. This is why I make sure I follow my schedule, so that I can finish all the things that I need to do and give myself some down time to keep the stress away. I think it’s important that we slow down and breathe, it’s for our sake after all.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I agree having a schedule and routine definitely helps. I’m a type A personality so I always have to consciously remind myself to take a break. Integrating time to slow down during the day is very wise of you.

      Like

  7. Though you haven’t deal with the real context of the verse; still you have given your readers a valuable insight about our daily life. As the saying goes Haste makes waste , one must take it slowly and easy what life has to offer.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Papaleng. Yes, I just used my story as a metaphor that someone can relate to in our daily lives. Please include me in your prayers as I write more reflections about the Sunday readings. God bless! 🙂

      Like

  8. I like this Sunday’s gospel, too. God definitely has His way. After 20 years living the rat race in Manila, I had an unsettling feeling in my soul. I went through discernment thinking that my plans of going abroad might be the answer to it. But the Lord placed it in my heart to go back home to Bacolod. A lot of things happened since I came home but for all those times, I had peace in my heart. My life now is slow, though not without stress, but I just love every minute that I’m with my mom and sister. 🙂 -Claire Algarme

    Like

    1. Praise God, Claire! I was blessed by your sharing! I’m glad things worked out well. I’m sure your mom and sister love every minute they share with you, too! God bless! 🙂

      Like

  9. I feel you, we want to be there for everyone when they need us but sometimes we feel so tired and began to ask where are those people when we need them. I pray that life can be more harmonious and have inner peace.

    Like

  10. It’s really great that you take something good out of a bad situation. Positive thinking is the way to go! And yes, take it slow, you only live once, no point stressing your whole life away… Make the best out of it!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Rebecca! God can always breathe life into dried bones and wet ashes. This Gospel was really a good reminder to me not to worry too much about life. 🙂

      Like

  11. This could happen to anyone and I am so glad you were okay. It is such a rat race these days like you said and I am constantly reminding myself to slow down.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Emily! My late father in law coined a term for taking a break – “Foof”. He was really good in reminding us to “foof” every now and then. 🙂

      Like

I would love to hear your thoughts. Kindly leave your comments here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s