Most of us know something about
the insidious effects of speed; the relentlessly hurried pace and increasingly hassled
pressure of our lives aren’t good for us. 
From early in the morning until late in the evening, a lot of us sprint
from one thing to another.  We run to the
next meeting, hustle to meet the next deadline, and rush to grasp the next
opportunity.   Along the way, we dash-in
to some place to get fast food or hurry by the house to microwave something
instant.  When the day finally ends, we
crash for a few hours with the uneasy awareness that, before long, it will all
begin again.

In his book Messy Spirituality, the late Mike Yacconelli said: “Speed is not
neutral.  Fast living used to mean a life
of debauchery.  Now it just means fast,
but the consequences are even more serious.”

Excessive speed interferes with
our ability to see, hear, and feel.  We
live in an adrenaline-induced blur. We don’t notice the disappointment on other’s
faces, or the loneliness in their eyes, or the sadness we hear in their voices,
or the anger in their questions.  And,
often, we don’t discern the gnawing hunger for love or the parched thirst for
joy which underlies and drives our restlessness. 

The well-known instruction from
Psalm 46 sounds to me like an invitation: “Be still and know that I am God” or,
as Eugene Peterson puts it, “Step out of the traffic.  Take a long, loving look at me, your High
God.”  It is in stepping out of the
traffic, slowing down to the speed of life, and being still that we come to
know God more deeply; it’s also a crucial part of our knowing ourselves more
fully and others more lovingly.