Advent. Just the word rolling off your tongue, and the feels it conjures up, are such a contrast to “holiday hurry”, “cyber Monday”, and kids insisting “I NEED this for school TODAY!”

I pause at a stoplight, in morning traffic and think about that tension between the pace of life today and the measured minutes in Nazareth and Bethlehem long ago.

500 years of silence. The plodding slowness of Mary and Joseph walking 90 miles over dusty roads towards a stable where Glory would be delivered after hours of labor. The time to reflect. The lack of iPhones or speed or 24/7 news cycles.

No it wasn’t quiet. Or easy. But there was a slower rhythm built into life.

A life where conversations happened in person. Experiences were chatted about and evaluated while walking rocky roads or while doing unending chores of water-hauling, bread-baking, seed-planting.


For us slow is counter-cultural. It takes a commitment to go against the flow. But what might we notice of God and ourselves if we entered into a different rhythm?

What if, in preparation for Jesus, we were to enter into the practice of slowing today? 

  • What if we build in margin so we might enjoy selah, pauses, moments of silence to listen today?
  • What if we purposely drive slower?
  • Get in the longer line at the store?
  • Walk more slowly through a room?
  • Stop to talk to a neighbor.
  • Pause to make a phone call just to remind someone they matter?

What if we take time at dinner with family to ask, “Where did you see God’s love today?”