Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

by Reverend Dan on April 27, 2022
As I began my post-Easter time of renewal last week, I decided to make what seemed at the time a rather innocuous request of God: “Lord, slow me down.” You see, I have trouble with the word, “No.” And because of that, with twenty-four hours in a day and twenty-eight hours of things to do, what do I say when someone asks me to do something? “I can work that in.” So, “Lord, slow me down.” Be careful what you ask for.

It started late Sunday morning when I went to Sunday brunch. Us preachers usually can’t make it to those meals, and the only reason we know about them are from the folks who rush out during the last praise song or hymn to beat the crowd there. Sarah and I ordered our food, found a table outside, and . . . are you ready? . . . sat and talked. About the dogs the people at the table next to us had and the bees flying around our heads. About what was going on with the kids and the nice weather. About everything and about nothing. It took 45 minutes for our “specially prepared individual plates” to be served, and you know what? Didn’t care. It didn’t matter. Then, we did the unthinkable. We ate slowly. (That may not sound like much but try it. You’ll be surprised how conditioned you are to eating fast.) After we finished eating, we walked around the little village where the restaurant was with no particular destination. Wow. Somebody should have invented this “Sunday brunch” thing before this past Sunday! Or maybe, just maybe, I should have slowed down enough to realize exactly what I was missing living my life at 100 mph, always getting to the next thing on my schedule.

Late Sunday night, after a quiet afternoon, I was home alone and turned the TV on and went to my “go to” channel – MeTV. It only shows quality TV programs, most of them in black and white. (Translated: Andy Griffith.) When I turned it on at 10:00 pm, however, instead of Barney and Aunt Bea and the Darlings, I was hit with a different flood of memories. It was “The Ed Sullivan Show”, a Sunday night ritual at my grandmother’s house after fried chicken and before we fell asleep on the ride home. (Where else could you see a song from a Broadway musical, a short haired George Carlin, a bear riding a bike, The Beatles, and a professional plate spinner all in one place?!) I thought about my grandparents and those times at their house, and in doing so I realized something. My grandparents, old to me at the time . . . were younger then than I am now. It was at that point that I realized God had answered my prayer.

James tells us that we “are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Sixty-two years and I’m wondering where they all went. Then I realized. They vanished in that mist I call my “schedule.” We all have a choice. We can live our lives or live our schedules. We can slow down and experience the beauty and awe and wonder of each moment, or we can always be looking ahead to the next thing on our “to do” list. I pray that I will use this lesson and spend each new moment “in the moment” and in doing so realize how incredible this gift God gave us called life really is. And I pray that for you as well. Slow down, my friends, and let the mist linger a while longer.​​​​​​​