by Kevin Twombly on November 23, 2021
Thanksgiving is this week. If that just caused you anxiety I am sorry. It’s been on the calendar all year long. You could have seen it coming…
Typically Thanksgiving creates gatherings of families, far too much food being cooked, people sharing around a table about things that they are thankful for, and indigestion. I’ve always been a fan of the after-dinner walk. Who else feels the guilt and shame of too many helpings of stuffing and mashed potatoes being washed away by a nice brisk walk? Here’s the problem that usually occurs in my family.
I walk fast.
Kim doesn’t… it’s not that she can’t walk fast. She just chooses not to. She moves at a different speed than me. This causes frustration on both of our parts. I ask, “Why can’t you speed up?” which is followed by her question, “Why can’t you slow down?”. You see where this is going right? What could be a nice walk together ends up being a frustrating experience for both of us.
Which only adds to the indigestion that I mentioned earlier.
Here’s a question that I have turned on myself recently. Where in the world am I trying to get to so fast? Thanksgiving Day is literally one of the only days out of the year that there are no plans other than eat, rest, and watch football.
So why so fast?
Have you ever thought about the pace of your life? I move fast in most areas of my life. There’s always something to do and if I want to squeeze more stuff into a limited time capacity the solution is to go faster. But does that add quality to our lives or just quantity?
One of the best ways to slow your overall pace of life is to slow down your body. Walk slower. Force yourself to move through the world at a relaxed pace. Maybe even stop for a moment and look up at the sky, or out over the view of a lake, watch a squirrel search for acorns in the fallen leaves.
For one day, try going slower.
In Matthew 11 Jesus is sharing with a crowd and he invites them to take up His yoke. He welcomes them, to “all who labor and are heavy laden, He will give them rest”. In Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of this portion of Scripture the term “unforced rhythms of grace” is used. That sounds refreshing. That’s a way of life that I want to live. It’s a way of life that can only come as a by-product of years of apprenticeship under the easy yoke of Jesus.
Thursday I am going to walk slower.
I invite you to do the same. Slow down and find peace. Be refreshed in knowing that the pace of the world isn’t one that you have to try to maintain. Walk slower. Breathe in. Breathe out. Allow the Father to create within you new joy. His unforced rhythms of grace can do that. I pray that you experience a spiritual and relational refreshing as you allow your pace to slow and be fully present wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Pro Tip: Take a slice of turkey, some stuffing, and a slice of cranberry sauce (that no one ate at the actual Thanksgiving feast) and place that all between 2 slices of bread. Thanksgiving Sandwich!