“Let me look upwards through the branches of a towering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well. Slow me down, Lord.”
Remember this prayer that was popularize a while ago at Shuyi’s and Pastor Jeff’s blog? I printed it out and pinned it at my work desk just like what Eelee used to do. Was staring at it recently when this part of the prayer hit me like a train. This may be good enough to be the revelation of the year for me.
How does the seed grow to become the oak tree?
It simply does. (Pardon my bluntness in phrasing things.)
Plant a seed into the ground, water it and then wait. In this world of instant gratifications, there is an unknown eagerness wanting things faster. Yet the truth is that for some things, we simply have to wait. For a seed to grow into a towering oak tree, It must slowly grow stronger day after day, year after year. It cannot grow 20 year’s worth of height in one day, just as how we cannot eat tomorrow’s breakfast today. We cannot stretch the seed, encourage the seed or fertilize the seed in any reasonable way to accelerate its growth to expect a towering oak tree the day after it was planted.
On the seed’s part, the way for it to grow in the fastest possible speed is simply to choose to grow daily. You might not be able to accelerate your own growth, but you can sabotage your own growth. A child may be destined to outgrow his dad eventually, but he can skip today’s meals to keep that from happening one day earlier.
I hate the implications of this revelation on my spiritual growth, but it seems like the conclusion is inescapable. There are no shortcuts in Christianity, only daily steps to be taken in the long journey.
quickly learn to be patient.
Let me be like the oak tree that grew great and strong, because it grew slowly and well.
“Slow me down, Lord. Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace with the vision of the eternal reach of time. Give me amidst the confusion of my days the calmness of the everlasting hills. Break the tension of my nerves with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory. Help me to know that restoring power of sleep. Teach me the art of taking minute vacations of slowing down, to look at a flower, pat a stray dog, to chat with an old friend or make a new one, to watch a spider build a web or smile at a child or to read a few lines from a good book. Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift. And that there’s more to life than increasing its speed. Let me look upwards through the branches of a towering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well. Slow me down, Lord.”