Slow down and consider the dandelions
Iwas in my usual rush down Dilworth Mountain, my mind a thousand kilometres away, when a situation in front of me startled me back to reality.
A car was stopped almost in the middle of the road and four people were standing beside it. My first thought was, “Oh, no, I hope no one is hurt.” I just assumed there’d been an accident.
As I got closer, I realized there had been no accident, but that these folk were tourists and had stopped to take pictures of both the deer grazing beside the road and of the amazing lake view. Under my breath, I muttered an un-pastoral phrase, inched my way past them and carried on hurriedly down the hill.
It was several hours later in the day when God caught up to me. To be clear, the theology of that statement is a bit off, but I think you know what I mean.
One rarely encounters God meaningfully when living at breakneck speed.
It was as if God was saying to me, “Tim, do you remember when the beauty of My creation used to fascinate you?”
Unfortunately, I needed to go a considerable ways back in time to remember. It coincided with a time in my life when we had small children who were amazed at every dandelion or butterfly. They forced me to slow down and see the beauty.
The next question was, “How did I ever lose that? What was my hurry in the first place?” The truth was that I wasn’t late. Hurry had simply become a habit.
The experience drove me back to one word found over and over in the Bible. It is the word, “consider.”
We are called to do a lot of considering.
We are to consider that the Lord God is in heaven above and on the earth below.
We are to consider generations long past and what their experience has to teach us.
In 1 Samuel 24, we are called to consider what God has done for us in the past.
The eighth Psalm is one of the most famous when the author cried out, “When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, where does humankind fit?”
The wisdom writer in the Proverbs encourages us to consider the ant and how diligently it works.
Jesus told us to consider the lilies and the birds, and to learn about God’s care from them. And the writer to the Hebrews instructed us to “Consider Jesus” and all He endured.
The long and short of it is that our lives are significantly enhanced when lived with consideration. The exercise caused me to wonder how much I was missing by skimming past life at 100 km/h.
I don’t recommend stopping in the middle of the road to take pictures of the deer. Chances are you’ll be at risk because of guys like me rushing by.
However I do have a piece of advice for myself and for any who care to accept it.
Intentionally place several “consideration moments” in your day — moments in which you allow God to catch up and bring insight and learning to you that can never be learned at top speed.
Tim Schroeder is a pastor at Trinity Baptist Church.