Why You Need To Live Slowly

small alarm clock

We all have the same 24 hours in every single day.

At the heart of that statement is our universal fear of failure and our constant tendency to measure ourselves against others.

Every productivity book I’ve read reminds me about those 24 hours we all share in common.
And I’ve let it drive me not motivate me.
As though what somebody else does has any bearing at all on my life, my path.  Seriously, it’s absurd and destructive.

And the REAL TRUTH of that absurd urge to measure and compare, to keep up and be competitive with anyone else on the planet, became so obvious I’ve put a visual reminder in my office so I don’t slip out of my truth and get sucked back in to the never ending rat race of this world.

The little clock pictured above is a travel souvenir.  I’ve loved it well, but it began slowing down.  It kept time erratically until one day it decided to be something other than a clock.  Lately it’s become a reminder “That life is so urgent it necessitates living slow”.  That’s a quote from Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, a book I can’t stop reading.

A case against hurry
In a beautiful chapter called A Sanctuary of Time she pleads the case against hurry.
It’s a chronic condition for some of us.  A wasting disease that strips us of vitality and joy leaving us frustrated, irritable, and dissatisfied with life.  In our rush to fit more into every minute and hour, we lose the ability to simply be in any single moment.  In trying to stretch our time we lose it altogether.  Like the bubbles we blew with our little pink rectangle of Bazooka—we’ve over-reached and all the breath seeped out through the spot that could stretch no further.

The solution is to quit being amateurs. 

“On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.”

That’s from a woman named Evelyn Underhill that Voskamp quotes.  What an encouraging challenge that is to me at. I want to go PRO, but Ms. Underhill’s uncovered my flaws because hurry is most often the result of procrastination and impatience is rooted in a lack of diligence and tenacity. OUCH!

How to quit living like an amateur

What will it take to quit living like an amateur? Hurrying from one thing to another, living life in a mindless blur of activity.  I’m craving guidance from God and the clarity that comes from time spent with Him. Here’s the truth that came to mind as I meditated on this.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

  • lay aside every weight ~ what is slowing me down? What habits are consuming my time and energy without delivering anything useful? What’s not helpful?

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 Corinthians 6:12

OK, I can binge watch Netflix, or spend time on Pinterest, or have an endless list of DIY projects. I can, but should I? Will those things get me where I feel God is leading?

But that hasn’t delivered real satisfaction or meaning from all those available hours. I’m craving something more tangible and especially more useful for others.

I want to savor the life God has given me, but I want to live it well.
To do the things that should be done in this—my life.  To work, to love, to share, to create, to give thanks, to worship God and seek Him with earnest focus.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.  Eccles. 3:1

Now it’s your turn 🙂
Who are you reading that inspires you? What purposes do you find God is drawing you into?


It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.


  • HI Kelly
    I have been so challenged by Brian Houston’s latest book, Live, Love, Lead. There are so many things he speaks about that challenge me to the core.
    Hope you had a great Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family….


    • I looked at reviews on Amazon and I’ll get a copy. Thanks for sharing it Rolain. It’s good to be challenged to the core 🙂

    • That sounds fascinating Michael. I’ve always wondered what it would have been like for our Lord’s relatives to watch skeptically His ministry and then finally come to believe that He was God in the flesh, Savior, and Lord. I’ll check it out!

  • I totally get where you are coming from Kelly. I am starting some new classes on the sixth of January, working towards helping others.
    I have to focus on this one thing, in order to finish it, so I can be effective helping others. However there has to be something to that golden retrievers antics. Looks just like me. Oh the food was so good.
    Thanks for a great truth story.

    Joy to you

  • I just finished reading something that inspired me, thanks to you! I might actually share this with Li’l D, who enjoyed the video when I opened this tab a couple of hours ago. I think the context would be useful for him, not necessarily today or this month, but as he meanders through life. 🙂

  • That video is hysterical! Yes, I definitely feel distracted much of the time. So many things I want to do, and I get bogged down by things that aren’t a priority! Living slowly and purposefully is key.

    As for my reading list, I’ve just started a book by an Australian Christian music artist, Roma Waterman, called “The God Artist.” She talks about how to draw on God’s attributes for inspiration among other things.I love this quote from the first chapter: “Regardless of whether a person searches for Him or not, the foundation for all creative greatness comes from God.”

    • I agree completely! And I think that’s why I enjoy painting even though I’m not very good. It’s the process, the act of trying to create that’s fun and oddly fulfilling. Is NZ as beautiful as I imagine? Is the reputation deserved? I know SLO is a very special place so you have something to compare it to 🙂

      • NZ is breathtaking. We’ve traveled a far bit around it in the last 13 years, and it still takes my breath away. Especially all the green. Of course, it rains. A lot. Very much like Seattle where I spent most of my childhood!

  • This post is a wonderful reminder of a lesson God tried to teach me whilst I kept a crazy pace in lead up to Christmas. I hadn’t been so stressed in about 8 years, and it came down to taking on too much. My poor son copped many a bad mood from me- all because I didn’t plan for quiet days. I had a 3 week period where we didn’t have a full day at home and were actually seldom home at all. I kept hearing myself say to my son, “Mummy’s too busy right now”and I knew that pretty soon, that sort of attitude would backfire. I had to work hard to restore fun and quality time in our relationship and, now that I am giving him my slowed down, full attention, I hope I never return to living life in such a crammed full state again.

    • Hello Merryn, it’s so great when we come out on the other side of an icky spell. One thing I can encourage you with is this—children are hard wired to remember the best of their childhoods, forgetting and forgiving the days we neglected them and dragged them on endless errands etc.
      My granddaughter and I are making a rocket ship out of a huge appliance box so her two little guys have something fun to do post holidays.
      I’ll post some pics?
      Thanks for spending some time with me here, it’s great to meet you!


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