Slow spirituality

Hi friends,

Have you heard of the “slow food” movement?

It’s a response to the success of “fast food” restaurants. It’s cheap, fast, convenient. That’s what people want!

The slow food movement says, we want to be different. Their mission statement:

Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat , where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.

Well, likewise, I’ve been meditating on slow spirituality.

It seems to me that most self-help literature is get better fast. Read this book, come to our conference, do our program. You’ll lose 90 pounds in 90 days! You’ll book 10 new clients in 10 days! You’ll … whatever it is.

But it seems to me that the life change I want is much harder. How can I be more forgiving? Is there a weekend conference that can do that work in me?

Slow spirituality is embracing practices that take time because the transformation of our hearts take time.

Instead of skimming the Bible, sitting in the text, listening to the Holy Spirit.

Instead of the quick takes on Twitter, writing out and then revising a post in the UP Community.

Instead of passively reading spiritual information, taking the time to journal what God is saying to us as we consider new truths about God.

After all, if part of God’s work is to make us patient, then how could “get better fast” programs be what he wants us to create and participate in?

Our problems run deep. An honest, unafraid look at our sin would cause despair. We might want to put on uncomfortable clothing and deny ourselves food as we feel overwhelmed with lament for our disobedience to a holy God.

God’s solution goes deeper - a love that can root and establish our lives (Ephesians 3:17). It takes time for us, in community, on mission, to experience this love as the Holy Spirit reveals it to our hearts.

Yeast isn’t very impressive. It takes hours for it to work its way through dough, and if you check it every ten minutes, not much happens. It’s invisible work. But try baking bread without it. Sure, it can be done, but you get the point.

How has our world - and your church context - formed you?

Do you value slow spirituality?

What would it look like to be patient and accepting of yourself - and others - as we are changed by God into the likeness of Christ?


I’ve been thinking about this for the last few days, slowly :slightly_smiling_face:.
I realised that I both like and dislike the idea of slow spirituality. Part of me knows it’s good for me - it’s the way my character can be formed, through perseverance, as I know God intends to work in me. But the impatient part of me doesn’t want it to be slow. I want the transformation, maturation, now! In reality, I know that nothing quick will produce lasting results. For example, a weekend conference may leave a spiritual glow for a while, as I bask in the memory of the moment, but over time that glow diminishes. I speak from experience. I have signed up to many a course or ministry time that ‘would bring me to freedom’, or ‘take me deeper in the spiritual walk’.
Also from experience, I know that the deep study of the Word, day in, day out, and the steady walk with God is what produces the deeper, lasting spiritual growth.