Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gleaning Slow

I originally titled this post thinking I would share things I've been gleaning from a Bible Study I am working through on my Quiet Time. But now, days later as I sit down to write it seems to be taking a different turn.

Slow is a practice that we glean from here and there. We may adopt one small thing that helps us slow and in turn that may build into a second thing and so on. It strikes me that gleaning is slow, when you are picking up the leftovers around the edges of a field or taking what is left behind it may take more work than getting the first pick.

Learning to slow may be like that for many of us. It may be a natural desire, but it may not come naturally to step out of the fray and intentionally slow down.

Just as when gleaning a field or a fruit tree and some days produce a higher yield than others, so it is in our days and gleaning the habits of slowing. Learning to slow is not instant, sometimes we {I} fail at this desire and it is a series of choices that lead us into a slower lifestyle.

And, so - we glean a little here ... a little there. We study God's Word and read, "Be still...", we may see a sunset and feel a slowing, our children want us to sit and read books or we sit and write a letter to a friend. In all of these ways, we are gathering slow just one small moment at a time.

We can't heap it up in piles and save it, nor use it when we need it - it is simply something in the moment.

Moments can add up to more moments and choices add up to more slowing choices ~ these are the ways to build slow.

All this reminds me too that slow is not without sacrifice or cost. We must give something else up in its place. Many times we are giving up hurry, stress or tension but sometimes there is a hard choice to sacrifice productivity, crossing things off the list and knowing that there is a greater good being done in the not doing. Again, I am in no way encouraging slow to give up and shut down all expectations of accomplishing things.

Balance is key as in so very many areas of life. We don't want to worship the list but have it serve us. We don't want to crave productivity so much that we are addicted to it. But, yes - there are things we must accomplish. And, as I mentioned the other day - we also cannot become a slave of slow or think that it is the end all be all.

Wow, I had absolutely no idea where this post was going - just sat down and wrote what was on my heart in this moment. Gleaning slow ... in small portions, may it add up to great provisions of peace, beauty and nourishment in my life and home.