Playdates with God: Sabbath Slowing

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I’ve been finding my play dates in books lately, letting summer storms and busy days rush over and past me unawares. For me, a good book has always been a way to savor time, something I am finding an urgent need to do these days. As we prepare Teddy to head off to school, I am alternately seized with nostalgia, excitement, and often fear. I have been praying through the Psalms this summer, finding comfort in the kinship of all those ups and downs.

Since I injured my foot, I’ve struggled to get back to running. If you’ve read my book, you know how my runs nourish me, open my eyes to beauty, and soothe my mind. It’s been slow healing, with a lot of ice and ibuprofen. In the mean time, I’ve traded the more vigorous pounding of the run for the gentler step of walking. The slower pace has been a treasured gift and I find I long for more hours in the day to simply walk—one more mile, one more country hollow, past one more barn. There is so much to see, so much beauty that we race past every day.

Knowing about my hungry eyes, a friend recommended the book A Philosophy of Walking to me not long ago and I have recently dipped into its pages. The author takes a look at the walking life of some of our most influential writers and philosophers, but also reflects on the value of walking as a way to slow so that we may see.

The illusion of speed is the belief that it saves time. It looks simple at first sight: finish something in two hours instead of three, gain an hour. It’s an abstract calculation, though, done as if each hour of the day were like an hour on the clock, absolutely equal.
But haste and speed accelerate time, which passes more quickly, and two hours of hurry shorten a day. Every minute is torn apart by being segmented, stuffed to bursting. You can pile a mountain of things into an hour. Days of slow walking are very long: they make you live longer, because you have allowed every hour, every minute, every second to breathe, to deepen, instead of filling them up by straining the joints. Hurrying means doing several things at once, and quickly: this; then that; and then something else. Whey you hurry, time is filled to bursting, like a badly-arranged drawer in which you have stuffed different things without any attempt at order.
Slowness means cleaving perfectly to time, so closely that the seconds fall one by one, drop by drop like the steady dripping of a tap on stone … ”~Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Don’t I know that each moment is not absolutely equal? Haven’t I felt the way the kairos time—the holy time—slips into the regular ticking away of the chronos time? When the sun falls just so over the meadow, or my son looks into my eyes and sees me for once, or my husband reaches unthinkingly for my hand … these are the moments when the ticking of time becomes the steady dripping of a top on stone, the moments when time stands still.

According to Greek mythology, Kairos was the youngest son of the god Zeus. He is often portrayed as having wings on his feet, showing how quickly he rushes by. Ancient artwork also gives Kairos hair on his face but not on his head. This symbolizes that he must be grasped as he is approaching, because once he has passed, the opportunity is gone.”~Laura Boggess (that’s me!) in Playdates with God

The only way to grab the kairos moments is to always be open to them. Walking does this for me. As does running. And reading. These are ways to turn my entire being toward God, to listen with my whole self. Sabbath moments.

What works for you in this way?

Every Monday I share one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find God and know joy. Click on the button below to add your link. I try to visit a few of your stories every week, so if you are a new visitor, be sure to let me know in the comments so I can welcome you. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us.

Laura Boggess

Comments

  1. says

    Laura, in at least one of Madeleine L’Engle’s non-fiction books, she talks about the contrast between kairos and chronos, and how this affected the way she lived her days. Thanks for your thoughts today.

    • says

      Oh, yes, Michele. I believe it’s in Walking on Water. I adore her, don’t you? I find the need to heighten my awareness of the kairos moments never wanes. It’s so easy to plod through the moments, not noticing. It’s good to see you here this morning, my friend!

  2. says

    “Listening with my whole self.” Yes. Sometimes I have no way of verbalizing what I think/feel about a subject then when I read someone else’s words, I think, “YEs! that’s it exactly.” The quotes from the philosophy of walking book are SO perfect…I’ve been walking more lately and find it such a joy in many ways.

    Pushing back against the hurry is a daily decision and challenge, but so worth it.
    Take care of that foot!

    • says

      I have felt that way a lot lately, Jody: speechless. That’s when I read! I’m really enjoying The Philosophy of Walking. It’s been a long time since I studied philosophy and it’s making me do a little research to remember and learn about these idea people who have left us such a legacy. Hugs to you!

  3. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    So beautiful, Laura. And several days ago, I literally just wrote about this concept in an essay….about this idea of hurrying when I was younger, thnknig that the faster I went, the farther I’d get. But the opposite is really true. When we slow down and walk, our lives become richer and fuller. This sounds like a wonderful book. I know yours is, and I recommend it whenever possible.
    I’m so sorry about your injury.
    Love
    Lynn

    • says

      Isn’t God’s timing so perfect, Lynn? I thought once my boys were older I would have so much time for slowing, but it doesn’t seem to be working out that way :). But it won’t be too long before we are empty nesters (sniff). Seasons. God’s own design. I’m trying to find my rhythm but it still feels a little awkward right now.

  4. says

    Ugh. I hated giving up running for walking. But you are wise to seek and receive the gifts that walking has to offer. I want to be more open to it as well because when I have been, I’ve been rewarded. Praying quick recovery for your foot!

    • says

      I admit I tried to start back too soon and paid for it dearly. Soft tissue damage takes FOREVER to heal, it seems. But, yes, trying to embrace the blessings in this forced slowing, viewing it as God’s wisdom. Thank you for your prayers, Lisa!

  5. says

    Beautiful. I have been thinking more about how quickly the days go by. This has helped me to slow down & not only enjoy my time more but enjoy those around me with greater concentration & love.

    • says

      Thank you, Joanne. I’ve been a bundle of emotions as we prepare to send Teddy off. It has made me so tender-hearted and aware of each moment. I don’t want to lose this feeling of the preciousness in each day. Thank you for always being a wonderful traveling companion :).

  6. says

    “Slowness means cleaving perfectly to time.” I just added this book to my wish list.

    I’m taking Tweetspeak’s Mindfulness workshop, and we spent a week on walking. I’m going so slow… in fact I’m behind. I’m kind of not ready to leave walking.

  7. says

    Mmm I love to read too and just this year have really got back into reading novels. And yes, those moments when time stands still, it feels like a mini glimpse of heaven, those moments especially with our children, when reading to them, or when we are all together as a family playing, cuddling or talking and everyone is happy!

  8. says

    Sorry to hear the healing is taking longer than you had hoped. But God has a plan for you. This did not take Him by surprise. How wonderful that you are finding new ways to connect with your loving, heavenly Father.
    Blessings and hugs,
    Kamea

  9. says

    Age has a way of slowing one down…I don’t feel the need to fill every day with something to do like I did when I was younger. I always have a stack of books ready to read…and I love a lunch day with myself and my kindle anywhere, anytime. Lovely post.

  10. says

    ” two hours of hurry shorten a day” – there’s such truth in that. I’m learning to not rush – Maybe it’s more like following the stream – and enjoying the slow and still and because I do I enjoy the rapid pace when it comes, then, too. While on vacation with our extended family, 2 of my nephews saved a lady caught in a rip-tide. When the waves got too bad and they had nothing left of themselves, they floated on their backs with the lady between them. It saved them – and the lady they had gone in to save. Learning sometimes to just float and not rush saves! Wishing you peace and over-flowing and hugging close as you get your son ready for school! It’s a savor thing, this letting go – and floating!

  11. says

    I love the book recommendations you bring into your posts, tempting us and leading us to expand our hearts and our minds. I also understand the need to run and the therapy it provides. I love running but my body has not enjoyed it as much this year and learning to find ways to bring it in alongside the walking and other exercising options has been a new journey. Praying for healing and continued Sabbath moments for you!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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