Slow It Down. Ah, it sounds so nice. Reminds me of the beach. But when it comes to actually slowing down, it can be difficult to do. Especially when addictions stand in your way.
Working as a graphic designer and running my own photography business can quickly become overwhelming. Over the years, work has become an addiction. And with that, my phone has become an addiction too. Like most of us, I rely heavily on my computer and phone. I feel like I have to have them beside me at all times to keep up my online presence or to answer a call from that new big client. I am constantly working. The excuses are endless and feel justifiable.
Finding a good balance between my family and work has been challenging, to say the least. My wife has gently told me a few times how poorly of a job I was doing as a husband and father - not easy to hear, even if she was right. In my mind I was the man. I thought I was doing a great job wearing a super hero cape, working nonstop, tirelessly into the night, every night, providing for my family. But I was wrong. I started to realize that even the time that I was spending with my family, wasn’t quality time at all. I still had my phone in my hand returning a text or posting on social. I was actually driving a wedge between my family.
I have always admired the Seek Well symbol. I will never forget the first time I saw someone wearing the hat. It was at a meeting for a mission trip to Brazil. Josh Collesano came in wearing the hat, and I knew I had to have it. It looked so cool!
While I was in Brazil with Josh, I got to learn about this movement called Seek Well. Shortly after we returned, I got to volunteer on a photo shoot for them. Oddly enough, I got to photograph that very hat I longed to have. But something else happened. It started to sink in... "slow it down and listen." I started to see how much I needed this in my life and began to change some things up.
Making the conscious effort to actually slow down and take a moment to listen is a must. It’s so simple to grab my phone and scroll for hours on Facebook or Instagram. This use to be my idea of slowing down. But let me tell you first hand, it’s not. I will be the first to admit I am not perfect. I am still addicted to my phone and work. I still find it a daily struggle to truly slow down and find peace. But I'm taking steps in the right direction.
Before Seek Well, I was constantly stretching myself too thin. I never took the time to slow down and have the relationship with Jesus that I need because I was too busy and didn’t want to make the time. But now I get it and I wear this hat every day to remind me to take a few minutes each day to be still and listen.
A few months ago, as the chaos of the busy work day was unfolding, and my files were rendering, I took advantage of those few minutes I had in-between to Slow It Down. Instead of reaching for my phone, I reached for a pen and paper, making time where I could be still to listen to the Lord. Finding peace, I turned the Seek Well symbol into my own personal version. Instead of a lake, I drew the ocean waves. Instead of pine trees, I replaced them with palm trees. And I drew the bonfire placed ever so perfectly on the soft sands of a beach. I was doing this all while having a conversation with and listening to the Lord. This was a moment for me, one that I won't forget as he reminded me that when I go to Jesus first, I am happiest.
Slow it down. Nothing in this world is more important than the relationship you have with Jesus. Once you go to Him, everything else will fall in place.
Take a minute, and Slow it Down every day.