Sunday, February 26, 2017

Participating and learning with Kate Motaung and some wonderful writers  in a five minute (plus) free write.

The word is slow and I was slow in writing it.

//Not My Plan

When I think of the word slow, my first reaction is, “yup, that's me.” I'm a slow starter and a seldom finisher. I'm quick to stumble over the obstacles, get distracted by the opposition, and cave to the critics. The irony of all this is that my thoughts are always on fast forward, and so much more often than naught, they get tangled together so becoming a blur. Because of this if there is pressure to make a decision, impulsiveness takes over if I don't purpose to put the brakes on. I don't give myself permission to be slow or to say no. This past season in my life God has been teaching me it is okay to slow down. It's more than okay. It is necessary. He is not in a hurry with His plan. Why should I be? //

My son plays chess. He was showing me a match between a grand master and a child of about nine. It was a timed match. I was watching, mostly the child. He would take a few extra seconds to make a move, then make 4 or 5 really quick ones. I questioned his thinking. “He is planning His strategy, looking ahead at the board and the position of the pieces.” He makes one move, then the next few come very quickly. It falls in place with his plan.” As much as he was attentive to the game, he was also fidgety, looking around, shuffling his feet, his body not completely relaxed. He was slow when he needed to be and quick, not impulsive, when it counted most. He won the match. I walked away thinking about it.

I hope that boy can take those strategies beyond the board into his daily life. So many can't and unlike the game, you can't just clear the board and start over. Mistakes, decisions and responses follow you into the future.  But the truth is, God knows the moves we are going to make and He doesn't press delete or put the game away. He walks with us, wherever we go, however long it takes. He teaches you to slow down, and introduces to you within that process new strength, new faith and revelations of the truth of who He is and always has been.

I think of Moses. He was hidden in a basket and found by the Egyptian girl. He was raised by the Pharoah in a palace. One day he did something very impulsive. His anger got ahead of his rationale  and he killed an Egyptian. He then ran away to the backside of a desert and didn't return for 40 years. He lived a secluded life. He married, had kids and raised sheep. A slow start. He thought He probably thought he would die there with no remembrance or legacy. But we know God didn't forget.

And then the wilderness. Forty years walking in circles. Many died. Moses was now leading a slow, complaining people. How did he feel?

But God, I don't have 40 years left! It's all been circles! No, it hasn't. Knowledge is increasing and it seems time is flying and everyone is hurrying and expects you to keep a pace. And when you can't keep up, out feel you let everyone down. But time is the same. One second lasts one second. There are sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour; days, weeks, years, the same.  It's all God's slow process and it's for our learning who we are and who He is. It's learning how to make space for His grace. It is not in ourselves to become who we are because we haven't a clear view.

I don't understand chess. How do I know what the other person is going to do? I guess it has something to do with the odds. I can't gamble with God. It's Him against no one really. I can't fight Him. I can't flee Him. He wants me to slow down. Not really a bad thing. But when He quickens me, He wants me to keep pace.

If I drink my coffee slow, the warmth of it will envelope my senses.

The extract is by the teaspoon and it infuses the whole batch.

A sprinkling rain will refresh and nourish the ground, whereas a deluge will flood and destroy.

Too warm too soon in Winter can make for an unproductive crop in the summer.

We want a quick healing, an instant reconciliation, complete understanding. We don’t want to write a second and third draft, rehearse a twentieth time, repeat the course again.

It takes time, it takes slow and it takes process to see and discover all we are created for.


  1. I really like your analogies in this with the chess pieces - very good! I also thought it was great how you linked with Moses. I definitely agree with your last line...we just need to be patient! :-)

  2. "This past season in my life God has been teaching me it is okay to slow down. It's more than okay. It is necessary. He is not in a hurry with His plan." I'm beginning again to see the necessity of slow. I'm resisting it even though I know God's process of growing me takes time. I'm impatient with me, but God knows where he's leading and the pace that's just right for me. I want to keep pace with him, and that pace includes slow.

    Learning to slow,

    1. Cheryl, thanks for visiting and your honesty. We are all learning.

  3. Love the chess story, and connecting this to Moses...GREAT work here, Mary. You really made a seamless whole, here.

    Wish I had a tenth of your insight. I'm in awe.

  4. Andrew, you do and so much more. It's the view He gives from where we sit. You inspire me to keep writing.