From the Editor

Sloooooow Down!

Michael L. Sherer

Michael L. Sherer

The pace of life can get way too hectic for our spiritual health.

How fast is too fast? I was once a reluctant passenger in the back seat of a car driven by a fellow high school student who thought it would be great fun to take six of us out on a deserted highway and “see how fast this sucker will fly.”
As I white-knuckled my hands into tight fists, the girl next to me said, “You just think doing this is all wrong, don’t you. Well, listen, Mike, you have to learn to lighten up and go with the flow.”

The driver overheard the comment, stopped the car and let me out. (Maybe he thought taking the pastor’s son on a dangerously wild ride wasn’t such a smart idea after all.)
I’ve often thought about that experience, back in 1958, and wondered what became of the driver of that old Chevrolet. (As for the car itself, I can imagine the fenders might have fallen off during the rest of that ride.)

These days, I have a feeling our lives are beginning to resemble the way-too-fast ride in that Chevy. Technology is accelerating the pace of everything, to the point that some of us feel the urge to stop the world and get off.

Six years ago, the novelist Richard Ford wrote, “The pace of life feels morally dangerous to me.” What would he say now?

In a story published on May 10 in the Washington Post, David M. Levy bemoaned the shape things have taken in what he thinks is becoming an “information crazy” age. Levy is a professor at the University of Washington’s Information School in Seattle. He confesses his flood of e-mail makes him feel trapped. He feels obligated to respond to it. Even deleting the spam takes too much time to suit him.

According to Levy, “information polluted people” need to organize and protect psychic space and quiet time. An observant Jew, he is rediscovering the value of Sabbath, the day of rest. From sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday, he doesn’t use e-mail, the Internet, the telephone, radio or TV. Instead, he slows the pace dramatically and spends time with family and friends — and lights the Sabbath candles.
This month the Metro Lutheran Web site offers two articles on spirituality. It’s our hope that this special focus will help you find ways to renew, refresh, reflect and slow down.

You might want to consider a midsummer retreat, individually or with a group. If you can’t make it to a retreat center soon, you can slow down in the space you inhabit from day to day.

As you do so, look and listen — and wait — for the voice and presence of God.