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Slowing Down

An Axis Course On Advent and Your Family

Welcome to Wednesday! It’s the middle of the week, and hopefully the Thanksgiving turkey is finally gone. Work is normal again, school is back in session, Christmas music is now “normal,” and you’re starting to feel the rush of the Christmas season.

This experience isn’t about unplugging and disappearing into the woods. It isn’t about discarding every aspect of our modern traditions. It is about taking the time to reflect, to pause, to slow down, and to evaluate what is and isn’t contributing to our wholeness.

There’s a beautiful phrase in the Gospels: Jesus was doing amazing things “as He passed by.” He healed people, fed thousands, taught, and loved everyone He interacted with, and He was able to do this because when he was out and about, He had His head up and eyes open, noticing what was happening around Him.

Jesus also wasn’t constantly running at full speed. In his book Three Mile an Hour God, Kosuke Koyama paints a beautiful picture of God moving at 3 MPH, the average speed at which we walk. Koyama writes, “Love has its speed. It is a different kind of speed from the technological speed to which we are accustomed. It goes on in the depth of life at 3 miles per hour. It is the speed we walk and therefore the speed the love of God walks.”

So far this week we’ve been talking about busyness, restlessness, and learning how to slow down. But the theme for the first week of advent is actually hope; it’s just that learning the art of hope involves first slowing down enough to recognize that things as they are now aren’t as they should be. When we’re constantly moving at 1,000 miles per hour, the novelty and adrenaline of our pace of life can keep us from taking time to hope for something bigger, something greater.

There are always things to be grateful for, but Christians use the season of advent to highlight this fact of reality: until Jesus comes back, we will never be fully at home in this world. Learning the art of hope involves this fundamental recognition. We’ll explore this in greater depth tomorrow.

Action Steps

Sometime today, or as soon as you’re able, ask your family one of these questions:

  • What’s your reaction to the idea of a “three mile an hour God”?
  • How is our family doing with pace? Does it feel like we’re constantly going? Is it possible to change that? Would we even want to change it?
  • Does the idea of slowing life down sound like a good idea to you? Why or why not?

Also, consider listening as a family to this episode of the Fight Hustle, End Hurry podcast and allow it to spark conversation.