March 14, 2011
At Foot Speed
Excerpt from Psalm 32
"Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you."
Reflection by Felix Carrion
A long time ago I was having my shoes shined. I picked up a magazine to pass the time more quickly. What I read opened my understanding. "Our senses were made to function best at foot speed." The implication: at a slower pace our senses take in more and are able to appreciate better the many-layered sensations of our lives.
In the movie, "The Peaceful Warrior," the guru wants his young pupil to be aware of the symphony of sounds surrounding them. In what appears to be a magical act, the mentor places his hands on the shoulders of the young man, as if to concentrate all of his powers; and all of a sudden the student could hear the lapping of a dog, the rustling of the leaves, the spilling of a brook, and more.
Deep understanding binds our ignorance, our frenetic pace, our temper and tempest, and places us on a plane much closer to God's higher counsel. Deep understanding fine tunes our powers of concentration and knowledge.
What if in this season of Lent we embraced "foot speed" and found ourselves moving more slowly with each passing day? At some point the slowness morphs into stillness and stillness into silence and silence into understanding and understanding into God. It may just be that our spiritual sensibilities were made to function best at this pace.
O God, in this age of high-speed Internet connections, concentrate my powers to find that pace at which I was made to function at my best. Amen.
About the Author
Felix Carrion is Coordinator of The Stillspeaking Ministry, United Church of Christ.
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