One of the classic episodes of the Andy Griffith Show is entitled, “Man in a Hurry.” In it, a fast-paced business man learns the value of slowing down and enjoying life. It cut against the grain of his crotchety, need-it-now gruffness, but he learned the value of taking life slower. As a woman and her four-year-old son recently learned, when dealing with the Boston subway system, a failure to slow down can be deadly. Video surveillance shows her leading the boy by the hand right past the platform and down onto the track below, just as a speeding train approached. The fast, courageous thinking of commuters-turned-rescuers kept this from having a tragic ending. Instead of talking about her and her son as fatalities, the woman lived to talk about how blessed and grateful she was. Hopefully she learned to slow down and pay attention.
Haste makes waste, they say. Hurrying can not only lead to mistakes, it can get one in much trouble. Some things deserve time for deliberation. Nothing deserves more careful contemplation than matters of eternal implication. When it comes to how we will live life or where we will spend eternity, we must be cautious and thoughtful. Yet, the majority are rushing headlong throughout life, oblivious to the danger. Isaiah, for one, says, in essence, “Slow down and think!” In exact words, he writes, “Come now, let us reason together…” (Isa. 1:18). Therein, he makes an appeal to consider a salvation issue.
Our eternal destiny is worth the most careful consideration. In Luke 14, Jesus preaches careful contemplation. This is not the paralyzing, fearful hesitation that prevents one from doing what is right, but it is the precise process of self-examination urged by Paul (2 Cor. 13:5). If you are not thinking “long term,” pondering your relationship with God, you need to slow down.