Have you noticed how obsessed we have become in doing things quickly? We have express lines in supermarkets, express lanes at toll booths – you can even find restaurants with express buffets! From morning to night, we find ourselves rushing around, constantly checking our watches so that we aren’t late for our next appointment. It has rightly been said that we are all in a hurry to get nowhere!
There is one area of our lives, however, where our pace needs to slow down a bit, and that is in the practicing of our Faith. Practicing our Faith properly takes time. We cannot rush through our morning and evening prayers and expect to derive any benefit from them. There is no “Reader’s Digest” version of the Divine Liturgy and other liturgical services of our Holy Orthodox Church. Their lengthy and often repetitious hymns have been so constructed to enable us to “lay aside all earthly cares” and to transport us to a timeless place.
Nowhere is this need to “take our time” spiritually more important than when we read the Sacred Scriptures. The Bible is not a book that lends well to “speed reading!” Its holy books were written centuries ago, and they reflect the culture and values of another era. In studying the Word of God, it is imperative that we take care that we digest every verse so that we fully understand its intended message. In Psalm 119:15, it is written: “I will meditate on Your precepts and contemplate Your ways.” What a perfect way to experience the Scriptures: slowly and deliberately.
It’s probably too late for us to quit “living life in the fast lane.” But it is NOT too late for us to “drive in the slow lane” as we travel the path that leads to the Kingdom of Heaven.