Ian Stackhouse, a Baptist pastor in England, points us in the direction we want to go but are either too busy or afraid. His proposal: slow down. He gives us a slow spirituality in a fast moving world in The Day is Yours: Slow Spirituality in a Fast Moving World.
Perhaps you feel harried; perhaps you feel harassed by those (like me) who like to remind you that life is not designed to be lived in a harried way. Perhaps you’re wondering how to slow down. Ian Stackhouse, in my view, offers wise counsel and good examples of a slowed down spirituality.
Question: Are you too busy? Question chaser: What can you do about it? Real issue: Does it matter enough to you to do something about it? I hope it does. A slower life is a better life.
His big idea is to make each day count, not in the sense of getting all from it you can, but by making each day sacred. Here are a few lines I liked:
“Outlandish as it may sound, the mystery of eternity is wrapped up in daily attentiveness. Communion with God is affirmed by the way we embrace this one day. As I open myself up the uniqueness of this day, so I am entering into the eternity of that Day” (132).
Ian Stackhouse, not to be confused with John Stackhouse in Canada, proposes such things as:
one day at a time, sweet Jesus
a sabbath rest
And he wraps into this the liturgy of the hours and living out the prayer for daily bread.
Ian Stackhouse writes from England; I suspect Americans need to read this more than the folks in the UK. I’ve heard many pastors tell me that folks don’t have time to do things anymore. Rum thing, that idea: we know we have more leisure time now than any generation in history. Our problem: we’re trying to get too much from every day. Instead of trying to get more done or more money from each day, perhaps we should we be trying to live each day better, deeper, more attentively, as a gift from God. This book is a good, a very good, reminder.