(Note from Feb. 25, 2017: I participate in Five Minute Friday with Kate Motaung each week, and while I did write an original post for the "SLOW" prompt on Feb. 24/17, I also remembered this old post that was right on topic, so I've decided to add it to the linkup too!)
We had to get a new dishwasher last month after our old one conked out. The new one is sleek and shiny and works great: it gets the dishes squeaky clean, and it runs so quiet, I can hardly tell it's on.
However, it's also really slow. A regular wash cycle used to take about an hour on the old machine; now it takes two hours. So I've had to adjust to this slower, longer cycle: I need to be careful not to start the dishwasher if someone might want to take a shower within the following two hours, and I have to make sure I don't put anything in it that I might need before the cycle's over.
The manual states that newer-model dishwashers use a longer, slower cycle in order to save energy -- just like a car uses less fuel when driven more slowly. That makes perfect sense, yet in a world where faster is almost always seen as better (Go back to dial-up Internet? No thanks!), it almost seems quaint to be assured that slowness is a positive feature.
In a recent post on her blog "Classical Quest," my friend Adriana remarked about recovering from illness and feeling "like a tortoise in a world of hares." That expression seemed to strike a chord among her readers, many of whom said in their comments that that was exactly how they felt.
I'm one of those readers. I looked at my life and realized in many ways how slow it is.
- I read quickly, but I write slowly. I've been working on my tween novel since the fall of 2011 (or is it 2010? I've honestly lost track), and I'm still only on my second draft.
- I express my opinion quickly on superficial matters (like grammar errors in the newspaper and celebrities' questionable fashion choices) but am slow to share my own deeper thoughts. I looked back at the 6-week Beth Moore study I'd participated in at church and realized I'd only spoken up three or four times in my very talkative small group, although I felt inside that I had a lot to say.
- I'm slow to embrace change, slow to risk, slow to decide. I procrastinate.
- At times I feel stuck and lacking in accomplishment. I know one of my primary callings is to be a mom to two kids who need a lot of support, and I've accepted, even embraced, that calling -- but sometimes I feel things are going nowhere fast in my life. And comparing myself with others (which I know is the kiss of death) only adds to that feeling.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.
Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
So I feel better now about being a tortoise. Life is not about being fast. It's about doing what we're called to do and not stressing about the outcome ... and enjoying the benefits of life in the slow lane.