The Practice of Moving in Slow MotionOn November 16, 2018 by Amy Burgin
I made a quinoa salad, which requires the preparation of many ingredients.
I found myself rushing the work. It was Sabbath. I had hoped to finish all my work the day prior so I could truly rest on this day. I had failed yet again. My Sunday afternoon was spent reminding myself of the logic of logarithmic functions so I could teach students on Monday. Making the quinoa salad was my last chore of the day, but it was already 4:00 PM. I anticipated finishing by 5:00 and snagging five blessed hours of waking rest before Sabbath escaped and Monday barrelled down.
Rushing to Rest, I set my bell pepper on the open flame of my gas stove and diced my onion as fast as I could. Smelling the char of pepper fill the air, I heard a familiar voice gift a mandate in the ears of my mind.
I did. I literally began to move in slow motion.
I slowly set the knife down and placed all focus on the pepper. Turning it over again and again, I enjoyed the sound of its crackles and the examination of each new burn mark forming.
An intriguing Calm and Rest settled inside me … and it was good.
I didn’t have to wait until the task was complete to enter Rest.
Oh the paradox of Rest reigning in the midst of Work! It smells like a God-Paradox. Humility in Total Authority, Gentleness in Great Power, Mercy in Justice, The Creator in a Manger, Life in Death.
I decided to practice moving in slow motion. Each day, I would commit to perform at least one task in slow motion.
Brushing my hair.
Peeling a hard boiled egg.
Washing my hands.
Walking across the parking lot.
Climbing the stairs.
I remembered my experiment in the midst of my most rushed moments, when a strong sensation shoved me to the next task of the day like a nagging witch shooing me along with a broom,
“Hurry, hurry to work!”
“Hurry to class!”
“Hurry to bed!”
(Oh, how I hear her voice manifest in my mouth when I speak to the children!)
Interestingly, slow motion never made me late, but rather,
made room for Rest to Reign within the Work,
revealed hidden furrowed brows and commanded them relax,
hushed the Whirlwinds of Hurry so His Still, Small Voice could be heard,
reminded of Pleasure found in simple tasks,
coaxed Thanksgiving to come out of hiding and stretch toward Heaven – Eucharisteo,
and it was all very good.
Two days into the practice of slowing down, sipping hot chocolate after bedtime and discussing the important things, such as my experiment in slow motion, my son quietly stood and slowly retrieved a hard boiled egg from the fridge. Sitting again next to me, he began to chip away the shell in quiet slow motion.
“This builds patience,” he finally spoke.
And so another gift of slow motion is revealed.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Lord, thank you for slowing me down that I might receive the gift of Rest in the midst of Work. I love you.
Citrus Black Bean Quinoa Salad:
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 minced red onion, diced small
1 15-oz can of Mandarin oranges, drained (save the juice for dressing)
1/2 roasted red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 large (ripe but firm) avocado, diced
1 small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes
4 Tbs of canned Mandarin juice
2 tsp cumin