The Slow Life

There’s a fast life, a slow, and then there’s a still one. Still is like that of Joni Eareckson Tada’s. But her quadriplegia (paralyzed from neck down) didn’t stop her to live a full life in the Lord. She makes beautiful art using her teeth. She has traveled around the world testifying about the goodness of God and helping those who are disabled like herself through her Wheels for the World Ministry. She has also written many books. For a quadriplegic, she’s indefatigable.

A still life could also be a spirit-crippled life. There are people who are paralyzed by fear and are unable to move on in life. But that’s not what I want to write about so let’s not go there.

I’m in the middle. Since my illness, life has tremendously slowed down. But before it, I lived a fast life. I even walked fast. I hated slow. My mind was always on overdrive. While my mind worked fast, my body never failed to follow. Multitasking was my forte. Until the day that God deemed it good to strip me off of all strength.

Adjustment to the “new normal” took time and a lot of pains. Impatience and frustrations were the order of the day. Sadly, they still rear their ugly heads every now and then. But you learn to “settle in” somehow and live. But not without the abundant grace of the Lord. You see, you can either live defeated by resentment, self-pity, and discouragement, or, receive inspiration from the Lord and revel in it. Everyday, I resolve to choose the latter.

The more I pursue Him and His gifts every morning that I wake up, the more He reveals Himself to me and fills my heart with inspiration to live life as He purposed it for me. So, I have learned to live with the speed (or slowness) I am given everyday and appreciate every activity I am able to accomplish with it. For the career woman, she can shower, change, put on makeup, dry her hair, gather her bag, gadgets, keys, grab a power breakfast, and start the car all in a breeze. That was my past. Now, I would be happy if I had accomplished one planned activity in a day.

But the slow life has its gifts, too. You seek rest a few times a day and when you do have it, you don’t waste it. You get to live in the present and appreciate the moment and the small things you are able to accomplish. It’s like every successful activity is a celebration, a reason to lift up praise and thanksgiving. In every simple task, the joy is deeper and more meaningful, maybe because you know how to be completely deprived of it during season of sickness. Nothing is taken for granted. In the slow life, you either complain constantly, hurl things, and maybe scream out your anguish (things I had tried doing a few times these 10 years), or bask in the Lord’s grace and mercy, defiant to your illness and suffering.

The slow life depends on the strength and timing of God. Though you may have many plans for the week or for the day, often, you are able to accomplish only a handful of them. But you learn to live with that and be grateful even. That is far better than not being able to do anything at all. When it really gets hard and encouragement dwindles, I can even draw strength from this, of all verses!

But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. (Ecc. 9:4)

A living dog is better than a dead lion. This could either drive you to wallow in self-pity or thank the Lord for the breath in your nostrils, the light in your eyes, the good head on your shoulders, and the love of the Lord, family, and friends that surrounds you. I may not have the strength of a lion, but in my extreme weakness, I am strong in the Lord – Hallelujah!

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:10)

The bottom line is, though your life maybe slow, if you are drenched in inspiration and dwelling in the grace and beauty of the Lord, you are still able to accomplish things that bless God and others.

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I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,

 

Comments

  1. Ann says:

    Hello, Rina! Hope you are doing well. I love what you wrote in your blog today! Slowing down…I am still learning this, as well. I have found it to be easier since my son moved out of the home last spring. I also have always respected and enjoyed Joni Erickson Tada’s writing and art! Another wonderful writer and blogger I’ve been touched by is Ann Voskamp. Are you aware of her book, “One Thousand Gifts”? Every now and then I go to her Youtube post about slowing down and taking in the moments…as a mother of 6, she touches on this quite often. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhOUaszMGvQ)
    Have a blessed day!
    Ann

    • RinaPeru says:

      I don’t have choice but to live with the strength I’m given everyday, Ann, which affords me to do simple tasks. Illness slows one down, but the Lord is there in every step. Yes, I think I was one of the early birds to get Ann Voskamp’s book on Kindle. I also used to link up with her blog. I still visit her regularly. And Joni, too. I’ve read most of her books. Thank you and blessings to you!

  2. Joanie Qualls says:

    Beautiful , wise, true, trusting, faith, peace (the true, complete Shalom). Received….in Jesus, Yeshua’s Name…..Hugs. Joanie

  3. Deanne says:

    Rina, every time I read a new blog post from you, I’m always so blessed!! Praying for strength and healing for you my dear friend. God richest blessings upon you <3

  4. Diane Chase says:

    Visiting for the first time from Spiritual Sundays Link-up. You have a beautiful blog. The music is perfect. Hope you have an awesome Christmas, Rina! Blessings, Diane

  5. Anita says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for your post. I think there is great beauty to be found in the slow lane.

  6. Lory says:

    I love every single word in this blog po..
    Thanks you so much. You’re truly a blessing po! (hug)
    May our dear Lord bless you more abundantly. ^_________^

  7. Hazel Moon says:

    Many of us have found it necessary to slow down in life. Thank you for sharing with us here at “Tell me a Story.”
    My husband has a similar problem and he is sensitive to odors. I must use unscented products and he must have no perfumed items. Lotions applied to his body can cause harm if they are not natural without added chemicals. It might be wise to search your home and eleminate things that are perfumed, no matter how much you enjoy them.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you for sharing your experiences with illness, dear Hazel. Mine has to do with the autonomic nervous system: cardio, digestive, respiratory with body weakness, dizziness, etc. Yes, I am careful, too, with harmful perfumes.

  8. This is such a moving post. I love your vulnerability and the way your honesty encourages others.
    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

    • RinaPeru says:

      The Lord has taught me that honesty is the most excellent way to write. Thank you, Mel. Have a Blessed Christmas, too.

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