Slow Me Down

Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Having lived in The Field over a year now has allowed me some time for reflection and consideration of the uniqunesses of life here in rural rural Canada.

Lauralea and I were talking the other evening about what it was we were going to receive from our life here in The Field, and though we had no clear answers at that time I've been thinking that question through and turning it over and over. What is the gift that life in a field has for me...

After only one year here I think that one of the very determined gifts that the field wants us to have is the grace of slowing down. I know that is the road to go down, but I've never been disiplined enough or willing enough to just slow down. My tendency is to go and go some more and burn candles at many ends, thinking, doing, praying, planning, so much to do and even better if I can get three things done at once. If getting one thing done feels good, then how much better to get four things done at once. That should quadruple the enjoyment, right?

Well, this field life is moving me, against my will, into a forced slowdown.

When it takes 25 minutes to get to town and 25 minutes back, you don't do a lot on the spur of the moment let alone doing three things. When you don't have the resources here to do a job, that job will have to be put off for days possibly.

Last Sunday getting a video clip to play for the service grew from a small task to one that would take me well past Sunday to accomplish, because of format issues and no DVD disk issues. In the city I would have been out the door and in the store in 6 minutes getting disks, and back again. Badda bing.

And it's not just travel time either. The winter slows down the pace of life too, even more than it does in the the city. You see people less here. You're more subject to the whims of the weather systems out here than you are in the city. Threats of snow, wind and cold will make you stay at home here, but not so much in the city.

I think its fair to say that out here life just takes longer to live and that a person who regularly does many things in a day will simply acomplish less here on any given day. It's as if a slower life is enforced upon him or her.

And I say that's a gift because I really believe that too many times my haste has led me to not being able to enjoy the true moments of life. You become a cog in a gear rather than being able to enjoy the gracious sweep of life that passes by. I know it is a better thing to live at deeper levels, but it is easier to live fast. So I fight it at every turn. I mutter when I slip on the snow rather than taking my time. I moan when I can't get what I want, when I want it, and I struggle to feel fulfilled when I only get five things done in a day rather than twenty five.

This "Gift" is forcing me to slow down more than I ever would on my own. Honestly. To be able to accept myself with only five things done today is a step for me. To learn to take time with a project or a task or a book or even waiting for the snow plow to come, is a lesson in patience for me.

I mean I'm already WAY better than I used to be, but this field life is pushing me to new levels of time management and time understanding. I know inside that this is a great gift to me, one I've been wanting to explore and learn for years. Now I just have to give myself permission to enjoy what I've been given, slow-wise.


  1. Hey Randall,
    When I got sober I had to learn how to stay in my day, and to live one day at a time. That took me a year to learn how to do. I had to rid myself of expectations from God, and learn to wait for him to move and to listen and slow down. The principles are universal. When we slow down we are prepared to wait and listen. When we stop expecting we start receiving things from God we never expected. And we begin to be teachable (even in a field). I remember when you went to Iona, getting quiet was something you longed to do. Remember that time.


  2. And I've been thinking a lot this week about the four days I spent in the Field last February. It only took me a weekend to benefit from the slowness and all the ways God can speak to us when we stop. I can only imagine what a year there would do. (Though my own little field down here in southern Manitoba has been doing a lot of those same things.) :)

  3. The other thing that the field has taught me is planning. Because you cannot just run out to the store to get the "needed" item in 6 minutes, you have to plan. After 10 years I am still learning this one.

  4. Now you won't be passing too many parishioners on the road to town!?


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