With almost tears in his eyes he pleaded with me.

I don’t remember whether this is a dream I had or real conversation. But it was with an older gentleman in his late 50’s. I had just asked him what recommendations he would give to someone like me in his 30’s. And this is what he pleaded me to do:

Slow down

It came from a place of great regret, having spent decades of his life going 100mph, and being busy. Career, job, family–the grind of survival and raising a family haunts him now as he wondered to what end he spent his labor for.

He became so busy grinding for the “the next thing” and the “next thing” that upon the reflection that late 50’s brings, he had a hard time thinking of what significance the grind produced.

“Slow down”, he pleaded with me. And don’t waste my life.

The words haunt me as someone who is in the daily grind. Now married with children, the pace required for survival has increased more than ever.

Modern life rarely offers the pace required for thoughtful reflection that allows one to actually meditate on what kind of life amounts to one worth living.

Pace will waste our lives.

To a Jerusalem metropolis  burdened by vain religious duty, God sent John the Baptist, a man raised in the wilderness and solitude to challenge the norms of society. He had a peace, a security, and a fire all in the city would long to have.

And he died living a purposeful life.

Pace will waste our lives, but thoughtful prayerful reflection about how we should spend our lives rights the course of the ship and rescues us from the meaninglessness of the grind.

How often do we schedule retreat and Sabbath in our busy lives that actually offers the type of contemplation heaven demands?

God help us to slow down and live meaningful lives!

Lord, help me to prioritize the place of silence and solitude that I may hear the whispers of your voice in my life. That I might, with your quiet guidance, continue to pivot the course of my life in a way that glorifies you. And so by the time I have reached the end, you would say to me, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”