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An Exercise In Slowing Down

Last summer I took my kids on almost daily walks. We walked miles down biking trails, hiking trails, and the walking paths on the campus of Iowa School for the Deaf. It didn't matter when we left or when we came back, and we were mostly driven by the proximity of the next mealtime.

We were never in a hurry to get anywhere, because there wasn't ever a destination. It took me a while to figure that out though. I've lived most of my life in a pretty hurried fashion, moving from one thing to the next, with very little margin. The last two years have certainly taught me to slow down a bit, but there's still an inner battle happening over the present moment.

There's still an argument within myself over how to spend my moments. I wrestle with an upbringing that demands productivity from every living second, and a soul that is pleading for just a moment of inactivity. I'm driven by endless reminders of my productive capacity, but limited by a body that has dwelt on the brink of exhaustion for far too long.

Recent life changes have forced me to slow down. Some destinations I was feverishly working towards have been simply taken off the horizon. My turn by turn directions have been replaced with the question "where do you want to go?"

What a terrifying question.

Maybe I don't need to "go" anywhere right at this moment? Maybe, like last summer's walks with my kids, the destination is simply walking in their company. Maybe there's time for treading some miles together, just for the purpose of slowing down. Can slowing down be the most productive use of a season like this? I hope so.

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