Friday, February 24, 2017

Five Minute Friday: SLOW



Today I'm linking up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. This week's word is SLOW.


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Richard and I have been watching the Lord of the Rings movies this past week (something I would highly recommend, by the way). In one scene, two little hobbits named Merry and Pippin have escaped their evil captors and taken refuge among the Ents, who are like huge, gnarly trees that can move and talk. The hobbits urge the senior Ent, Treebeard, to gather the other Ents and take action to fight their foes.


But the Ents are ..... SO .... VERY .... SLOW.

Merry grows impatient with their lengthy deliberations. When he asks if they have made a decision, Treebeard says, "No ... We only just finished saying ... good morning."

Merry cries, "But it's nighttime already. You can't take forever. We're running out of time!"

When the Ents finally act, they are strong and fierce -- but it takes them SO LONG. It's hard for Merry to understand why, when the stakes are so high, they don't move more quickly and decisively.

A couple of months ago our pastor gave a sermon on John 11, highlighting this sentence in verse 6: "When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days."

That's a strange decision too, on the face of it. Lazarus and his sisters are close friends of Jesus. As our pastor pointed out, most people, when they hear a loved one is at death's door, drop what they're doing, pack their bags, and rush to be with the person; they don't hang around for two more days before acting. 

Lazarus's sisters' response when Jesus does arrive shows how bewildered and hurt they are by his sense of timing: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

But Jesus has another, higher purpose, as the rest of the chapter shows: Lazarus does die, but Jesus brings him back from the dead. It is an incredible miracle that demonstrates Jesus' power and authority and brings even greater glory to God than preventing Lazarus's death in the first place would have.

I think in our culture we have made an idol of speed -- and not just in obvious ways like high-speed internet or fast cars. When a pressing issue arises, so often we want others to respond instantly, in the exact way we expect them to. And if they take time to deliberate or their priorities don't seem perfectly aligned with ours, we can be so harsh and judgmental.

Maybe we need to stop worshipping at the altar of FAST. Maybe we're not running out of time. Maybe, as Jesus and the Ents show, there is actually plenty of time to take it SLOW and still accomplish what needs to be done.

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11 comments:

  1. You had me st Lord of the Rings, as this is my favorite movie series of all time! We've also enjoyed this riveting story that holds so much simple truth. I'm visiting from Five Minute Friday, and have found your post to be inspiring. What a challenge it is to go slowly, where most of the good work is done!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Ann. Other than covering my eyes through the whole spider scene, I've been riveted by the movies again, too. I just love the way the Big Story and the little stories intersect. I think we need stories of heroism and sacrifice in these times.

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  2. Jeannie,

    I love the Lord of the Rings...and your observation about the altar or idol of "fast" is so true. Blessings :-)

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    1. Thanks so much - I really appreciate your reading and taking time to comment. Take care!

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  3. The idol of fast is one I've worshiped at, Jeannie. I'm glad God is patient with me and not swift to cast me aside when I don't get where he wants me to be right away.

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    1. Me too, Tim. In our obsession with fast, we put judgment on ourselves and others that God doesn't. He is patient with us, patient with the process.

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  4. I have definitely invested in the whole idol and idea of fast. Fast isn't always better and fast is often not even safe. Taking time and being deliberate has some serious benefits. Jeannie I really appreciated your post. You've given me so much to dwell on. I expect to find much in God's word, but wow, using LOTR too! Nice girl!
    Vising from FMF.
    Have a beautiful weekend!

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    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Kelly -- I'm glad this spoke to you. I enjoyed this prompt.

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  5. Yes! So many yeses. I want to go back and watch those movies now!

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    1. Thanks, Christina! Yeah, we've been really enjoying the movies. Just have the last half of Return of the King to watch tonight, and I'm really looking forward to it!

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