In the area where I live there are a couple of decommissioned police cars parked on busy streets. The police cars get people's attention and cause them to slow down. It works for me. Even though I actually prefer driving the speed limit, when I see either of these decommissioned patrol units, my foot comes off the pedal and I check my speedometer.
Besides the possibility of getting into a wreck or running over some innocent pedestrian, unchecked speed does something else. It narrows our field of vision. The faster we go the less we can actually see. As our speed increases, we are only able to focus on objects far out in the distance that are rapidly entering our narrowed field of vision. When we slow down, our vision opens up and returns to normal. Slowing down, we are able to see a more panoramic field of view.
I know people who have blown by spiritual and emotional warnings signs erected to slow them down. By ignoring those signs they paid a tragic fine in their family, business and calling. We can move at such a fast pace that the significant people and opportunities standing on the roadside of our life become only a blur in our pursuit of personal success.
The problems begin when we chose to believe the lie that tells us we need ever-increasing speed if we are going to make it to the finish line. Crossing the finish line of anything worth our time and effort is only crossed by those who made the choice to slow down. These wise ones will arrive at life's destinations happy, healthy and with their most important relationships still intact.
We need to proactively include places in our life where a Sabbath rest is created to help us reduce our life-speed. This is not limited to a scheduled day of rest. It is finding places of rest every day, every hour and within every moment of our existence. When we choose to slow down, rest and allow our field of vision to open up, those who were speeding forward with us will blow by us as we stand in our place of rest. At that moment, we will see the limitations of speed and the blindness it creates.
In the slowing, we will be able to see the warning signs, potholes and sharp road edges of an unrestrained and unrested ambition. That myopic way of living has caused good people to run off the roadway of their calling.
In the blur of speed, we can miss the sound of a child’s voice, a spouse's need for an affirming embrace or a word from the Lord spoken in a still, small voice. These are the important things in life. Don't allow them to become regrets that stood on the roadside of our lives unnoticed as we rushed by in the blurring speed of our forward progress.