Mary [Magdalene] represents the ‘rebel consciousness’ that is essential to Jesus’ gospel. Wherever the gospel is preached, we must remember that its good news will make you crazy. Jesus will put you at odds with the economic and political systems of our world. This gospel will force you to act, interrupting the world as it is in ways that make even pious people indignant.

— Emmanuel Katongole

What we do is very little. But it is like the little boy with a few loaves and fishes. Christ took that little and increased it. He will do the rest. What we do is so little that we may seem to be constantly failing. But so did he fail. He met with apparent failure on the Cross. But unless the seeds fall into the earth and die, there is no harvest.

— Dorothy Day

slowing down, an experiment

As a cadet at the Air Force Academy, I was taught to ‘move with a purpose’ and always walk quickly, as though a brisk pace was itself sign of a brilliant leader.  For years, I would go from here to there with a caffeinated pace that would make any Adjutant proud (if you’re not familiar with an Adjutant’s walk, watch this and this).

Then I got over it…and slowed down.

I’ve found that walking quickly from place to place, even when not running late, creates stress all by itself.  Slowing down not only removes that stress, it allows me to enjoy the sights / sounds / smells along the way, have some time to think / plan / pray, and just plain relax a bit.

Does slowing down make for simple living of the Christian life?  Not necessarily, but the mindset that comes from slowing down fosters the mindset needed for simple living.  In fact, the simple life is, in part, a slower life freed from the busyness we’ve come to call ‘normal.’

So I have for you an experiment, a challenge, a baby step (no pun intended) toward simplicity.  It is an experiment in the lost art of sauntering.  Next time you’re heading out the door:

  • leave five minutes early
  • slow down…maybe even to the point where it feels awkward
  • relax
  • walk through the grass (yes, I hear some of you gasp)
  • notice your surroundings
  • enjoy
  • repeat often

So, how’d it go?  What do you think?