For a couple of days this past week I attended a conference in Ocean City, MD but stayed in Lewes, DE, some 27 miles north of Ocean City. Highway 1 was my convenient daily route from one place to the other. At a couple of points along the way, there were signs that said “30mph – Strictly Enforced”. And, they weren’t kidding – not once did I travel between the two locations that I didn’t see an officer giving out at least one ticket!
But it’s the off season and a 30mph speed limit on a long stretch of relatively deserted road got me thinking. Here in DC, regardless of the posted speed limits, which someone recently referred to as “speed suggestions” if there is open road space, most drivers take that opportunity to fly as fast as they can to the next light, stop sign or intersection, fully ignoring the speed suggestions. Here in DC, most of us don’t know 30mph anymore, unless we are bumper to bumper, and certainly not with open road in front of us. And, I tell you, 30mph felt S—L—O—W.
It is also true that most of us don’t live slow, 30mph lives either. We are constantly running and rushing from one thing to another. We are trying to juggle vocation and family and/or personal responsibilities and trying to throw in community and relationships. I was out running (for exercise) one morning and saw people leisurely, but with purpose, walking toward the Metro, and I thought, “I don’t know that speed”. We know it would be better for our physical and mental health if we did slow down, but…
We know a lot of things would be better for us, but without ‘strict enforcement’ we continue to speed through life. Maybe we need Sabbath police? No, not really, but faith communities to help us be responsible stewards of our time and life space through prayer, sharing and accountability. Conversations that share experience and hope in this area and about all areas of our lives can deepen our sense of God, others and our callings in life. Together we can help each other recognize the signs to s-l-o-w down. It is not easy, there will be road signs and turns, but the scenery, shared with others, is a beautiful landscape, indeed.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.”
1 Corinthians 13:12