“Slow Down and Pay Attention”
I Was Thinking…
K-Mart Department Stores used to have the ‘blue light special’. It was a blue light located in a particular place in the store. When it was flashing particular items near the light were reduced in price. A voice would sound over the store’s public announcement system “Visit our blue light special on isle 15 for the deal of the day”. It was creative and effective.
Well, I experienced another type of ‘blue light special’ a week before Christmas. I was in too big a rush to get home from a Christmas Event and I wasn’t paying attention to notice that the speed limit shifted from 70 MPH to 55 MPH in a construction zone. You guessed it! I looked up and in my rear view mirror was an unwelcomed ‘blue light special’.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputy was a nice young man and was gracious. He even asked me “Sir, do you know why I’ve stopped you?” My answer was “I think I might have been traveling too fast”. I handed him my license…you know the routine. I waited for what seemed like an eternity as the young officer wrote me a speeding ticket. It was painful but deserved. His parting words were “Sir, slow down, be careful and have a good evening.”
It was one of those experiences in life where I was reminded to ‘slow down and pay attention’. I thought of that young officer several times across the Christmas and New Year’s season. When I have thought of him, I’ve tried to remember to ‘slow down and pay attention’. Christmas with family this year was extraordinarily special. Was it because of the joy of watching two grandchildren experience their first Christmas or was it because I slowed down and paid attention? Some of both I suspect.
How many New Year’s Resolutions have I made and broken across my life? Perhaps my only resolution should be to ‘slow down and pay attention’ because life can be full and noisy and busy and, well, just plain ole distracting for me (maybe for you too?). I’m going to ‘slow down and pay attention’. Will you help me ‘slow down and pay attention’? If you wish, I’ll help you too. After all, we are a community of believers. After all, we are “sister/brother beggars helping each other find bread”. Most importantly we are charged as United Methodist Christians to ‘Make Disciples for the Transformation of the World’. If I’m rushing through 2017 with always of sense of ‘what is next?’ I’m likely to miss the opportunities of the present.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote long ago “Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?” (2:25 The Message)
So if you’re traveling on I-575 ‘slow down and pay attention’. There is a young Sheriff’s deputy and his friends watching and waiting to help you (and me) remember to ‘slow down and pay attention’.
P.S. Confession is good for the soul. Thanks for listening!
P.S.S. I’ll be opening up a ‘GoFundMe’ account to pay my ticket…just kidding!