The Rev’d Canon Fred Dettwiller
May 17, 2018
There are two words we all have used, and we have heard throughout our lives, yet these two words are ones we seldom pursue. Slow Down!
Personally, I say these words often. I say these words to people who I care most about and to many I hardly even know. I meet so many people who are rushing through this life like a gerbil in a turning wheel, just running and running, but getting nowhere. I trust you know some gerbils out there and quite possibly you see one at times when you look in your mirror.
Please take a moment now and ask yourself these questions:
Are you a gerbil in this life, and if so, why?
Did Jesus ever rush or did he simply move at God’s pace?
What pace are you currently using in your life? Your pace, or God’s pace?
If you answered yes to the first question about being a gerbil, this is the time to change. All of us, with God’s help, can control how we respond when life gets hectic, busy, and overwhelming. Don’t let the world lead you to rush through life and miss out on what’s important to God, those you love, and in the end, yourself. Simply, Slow Down!
The second question is easy to answer. Of course, Jesus never rushed as he was on God’s pace. Your relationship with God can exist but not to its full potential unless you slow down through prayer, self-reflection, thoughtfulness, and study. How is this done? Slow Down!
The final question to answer may be hard for some of us. We sometimes see ourselves differently than others see us. This has been proven time and time again through 365 feedback surveys, etc., where you get honest feedback from those who know you best. Almost always, individuals are surprised, and many times shocked, with how they are viewed by others. Our perception is simply that – our perception. It doesn’t mean it is right or wrong, it’s just our perception. So, I ask all of you, through prayer, self-reflection, thoughtfulness, and study to decide if you are on your own pace or are you on God’s pace? You know how to do this. Slow Down!
I will be 86 years old on my next birthday. Some people who know me think I do too much, and many tell me to slow down. I still spend some time at my company and work there twenty or so hours a week. I work for the Bishop, I serve as Police Chaplain for several law enforcement agencies, and serve as the Faith-Based & Volunteer ESC for Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). I am Vice Chairman of the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission, and am a board member of Centerstone, and chair the Service Excellence Committee. Do I stay busy? Absolutely yes! To me, those who don’t stay busy are missing out on their true calling in life. Slow down does not refer to not being involved as much as possible and giving back as much as you are able as that should never happen if we can contribute. Have I learned what slowing down truly means in my life? Unconditionally yes, but it is an ongoing journey.
A motto I learned many years ago is – God first, others second, and me third. My hope for each of you is that if you haven’t already done so, you realize what can be and should be done every single day while here on earth. You will have to work at it as I do each day, week, month, and year. Simply, Slow Down!