This morning at church when the minister was finished with the Trinity Sunday children’s story he said he had one more thing he wanted to share. He told us that one of our little boys in the congregation had let him know, through his mother I believe, that we say The Lord’s Prayer too fast when we repeat it in worship. He said he can’t keep up. As the minister said, “Out of the mouths of babes!”
Not only may we be repeating the Lord’s Prayer too quickly, but I think we try to do most everything too quickly. Several times lately I’ve been at the microwave at work or a checkout waiting for my card to process a charge and noticed how slowly it seemed to be going. Two minutes in the microwave seems like such a long time now, and it is even worse if whatever we are heating isn’t done when the two minutes are up and we have to, gasp, put it back in for thirty more seconds.
I was at a meeting the other day as an observer and saw this same sort of scenario. The goal of the meeting seemed to be to figure out the fastest way of getting the business done. This led, for the most part, to motions being passed without discussion and the delightful result of being able to finish all the business before lunch by tacking on an extra fifteen minutes to the morning session. This done everyone went their separate ways rather than gathering for a shared picnic lunch as had been attended. Everyone seemed so pleased to be finished that the idea of fellowship over a meal was cast aside.
What else are we doing this way? When we listen to our children do we seem to be in a rush for them to finish so that we can do something more important? Do we ask people how they are but then walk away so quickly that they don’t even get to answer? Really, what is the big race for?
The children’s story usually concludes with a prayer with the minister saying short phrases for the children to repeat. Today, however, he led us in The Lord’s Prayer, which had already been done in its usual spot in the service, at a slower pace. It was slow enough that there was time to reflect after each phrase on the meaning or ramifications of what we had just said. What a great message. Let’s relax our speed this coming week and reflect more on the meaning of that which we say and do.