We walked and hacked and chatted around the golf course, more slowly, less skillfully but more gently than when we first started playing together more than 20 years ago. Walking from the final hole to the clubhouse I stopped to look back. My friend had paused on a hill that we would have bounded up in the past – but slower has become richer as we age together.
Another night, over a steak and salad, separated by nearly 4 decades of life my young friend and I discussed life, marriage, work, faith, and the meaning of the cross in the biggest pictures of life. Three hours passed swiftly but richly. Slower was richer with his energy and intensity of youth.
The other morning, I read Jesus’ words: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:12-14 NIV)
It’s quite a juxtaposition of thoughts. The wide road vs. the narrow road has seldom been presented to me in the light of Jesus’ challenge to act in such a generous fashion. But it only makes sense that this is the path to life. Our declared statements of belief are no replacement for the experience of the living God who calls us to live generously and mercifully.
Slower but richer has been my experience this year. Retreats, conversations, group meetings and our more public web-based communications all have had this quality to deepen the lives of friends in Christ to face the deep challenges of hard obedience.
I’ve been surprised by the fact that we now have over 500 people viewing our videos, retreat guides, Monday Thoughts and guides for private and group prayer. Mostly I avoid knowing the metrics, but it amazes me that there are many visits by that many different people to receive what we have to offer.
We have vision for this potential, offering healthy resources in a world of social media that is manipulative and addictive – yet potentially creative and constructive. This year’s “Prayers for Deck and Dock” will offer some guidance for useful reflective experiences during the summer when the “slower but richer” can be part of our lives.
Thank you for your kindness and support over the years of this work. We are grateful to have vision, activity and the quiet presence of the Spirit enabling “slower but richer”. May one of your re-creation experiences this summer be doing for others what you wish they would do for you.
Beauty of friendship grow among us,