Fast Lane or Slow Lane?

Every day as I return from driving kids to school, I have a choice at a particular intersection. Will I turn left and merge into the fast lane — the hustling, bustling rush hour traffic on the feeder to the expressway? Or will I turn right and take the slow lane home, past the nature preserve? 

These days, everyone lives life in the fast lane. Climbing the corporate ladder or working two jobs just to make it. Organizing the charity fundraiser or doing paperwork to save the house. Driving kids to sports practices and music lessons or caring for sick, aging family members — or both. Everyone has too much on the plate and some of us are working on managing other people’s plates.

After years of “living through this season of life until things slow down,” I have realized that things will never slow down. My retired parents are still busy. It’s the nature of this fallen world — to keep us so busy that we can never sit long enough to hear God’s whispers or feel His powerful, comforting presence.  The fast lane will never go away; the only answer is to pull off into the slow lane periodically.

The fast lane promises productivity and efficiency. That’s great if you are a machine. We weren’t created to be machines; God knit us together in our mother’s wombs with hearts and souls created for connection — to Him and to each other. The slow lane offers rest and relationship. We have tried to become efficient even in our relationships through Facebook and Instagram. The result has been address books full of so-called “friends” that are just names, yet the number of true friends we have has dwindled. And the God of the universe who wants to call us “friend” as He did with Abraham, gets “unfriended” more often than anyone else. So maybe we need to pull off into the slow lane for awhile everyday.

Today I took the slow lane home — 25 miles an hour through wooded hills, seeing birds flutter here and there. A graceful deer peered calmly at me through the trees and the scent of a wood burning stove took me back to childhood days at my grandparents’ house. A gentle wind decorated the landscape with swirls of dancing snow. My Creator met me there with the refreshment of beauty, as if to say, “I’ve been waiting for you.” I chose to linger awhile longer in the slow lane when I got home to sit with the God who so patiently waits for me to turn my attention His way. May what He said to me bless you — as you ponder His Words — in the slow lane today.

From Psalm 8:
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your Name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor…O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your Name in all the earth!

From Matthew 11:28-29:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

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