As an American living in France, I’ve been challenged in my on-the-go nature. From my fast-paced life in the states to having no car, no ease of communication, and no sense of independence, there has been quite a learning curve! I’ve missed my car more times than I like to admit and the length of time it takes to get somewhere that could be driven to in 7-10 minutes made me want to lose my mind at first. 😂 However, I’m actually learning to embrace it now.
One thing that was the smallest source of frustration in the beginning is the coffee situation. In the states I loved grabbing a coffee and driving home (or wherever the next destination was) to enjoy it…especially iced coffees which are almost nonexistent around here which makes me want to cry.
But I’m learning to enjoy the process and ritual of the French lifestyle. The last two times I’ve gone out to dinner I even did the very French thing of getting “un café” after our meal and sipping it slowly while conversing with friends. It’s progress for this girl, anyway.
My miles a day of walking from home to language classes, to everywhere in between are a great opportunity to listen to audio books, music, or podcasts, so I’m finding ways to make the slowness of things feel productive.
It’s also teaching me to live more minimally. For example, grocery shopping (shopping in general, really) stays bare bones as a whole. Knowing I will have to carry everything home is a great motivator to stick to only what is necessary.
The frustrating can transform into the beautiful if you allow it.
There are plenty of benefits to learning to slow down. Being still is a theme in multiple parts of scripture. When we get so caught up in the business of life and the “more” we need to fill all our gaps with, the less able we are to see God at work, even if only because of our lack of space to stop and observe it. We push the presence of God out of our lives because we find it inconvenient, and that is terrifying to me.
+ Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
+ Exodus 14:14 “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
+ Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”
+ Psalm 62:5 “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.”
It takes some perspective shifting to see the benefit of slowing down, of being present, of waiting on the Lord. I have been challenged in this area of my life lately, and I am becoming more and more aware of God’s presence waiting for me in the slow places.
Are you missing him in the midst of your rush and your hurry?
Grace & Peace,