From Relevant Magazine
5 Ways to Slow Down in 2013
As the world speeds up, it’s more important than ever to intentionally slow down. Here’s how.
“Everything is amazing, and nobody’s happy.” —Louis C.K.
Life is busy—too busy. Too noisy and complicated and downright distracting. We have everything we could ever want and yet we long for more.
At some point, we have to wonder, as Jack Nicholson did: “Is this as good as it gets?”
Here at the start of a new year, let’s consider this. We’re all busier than we’d like to be, but there has to be a healthy way to live in the midst of this busyness. The apostle Paul instructed, “Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2, NIV). In other words, we need to be present to the now—and if we don’t, we may miss God’s gifts to us.
As a new father, a part-time writer, a full-time husband and guy with a day job, I’ve had to discipline myself to live in the present. It’s not easy, but it is possible. Here are a few simple habits I’ve learned.
1. Go for walks.
I used to love running. To date, I’ve participated in two half-marathons. But summers are hot in Tennessee and my son needs my attention at night, so there aren’t many windows of time for long runs anymore. One way I find time to exercise is by strapping my baby into his car seat and stroller and going for an hour-long stroll in a nearby park.
There’s something spiritual about a walk. C.S. Lewis used to take one every day; I never understood that—until now. When you slow down enough to notice the leaves change color or to hear the birds sing, you transcend the stress and anxiety of what’s to come and learn to notice what’s already here. Somehow, God feels closer. Maybe He is.
2. Read offline.
I love my Kindle; I use it to download an exorbitant amount of e-books, most of which I never end up reading. I even enjoy killing an audiobook on my iPhone during long road trips. As a blogger, I’m a fan of digital media and of using it to spread stories and share information. But I still love print books.
A different part of your brain and spirit is activated when you pick up a book and stare at actual words on actual pages. It’s elemental. You don’t merely absorb the content; you experience it. The words do something deeper to you when you can’t close out of one screen to open another to check your email.
For years, I tried the whole read-the-Bible-in-a-year thing. I subscribed to blogs and had daily verses emailed to my inbox. I downloaded apps for my iPhone and tried to use technology to make it easy, but it never was. I always got sidetracked or distracted somehow.
Then one day, I picked up an old Bible on a shelf and couldn’t put it down. Maybe that’s how it was intended to be read.
3. Eat slowly…
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