My eldest is a doll. He’s a hugger and cuddler and he focuses on things of interest to him intensely.
I love him so much.
He is also slow paced. Very. Slow. Paced.
He’s regularly the last one to finish eating, get up, get dressed, load up in the car, obey instructions, get to bed, etc.
I’m fast paced. My other two children are fast paced. It must be hard being a slow paced kid in a fast paced family in a fast paced generation in a fast paced city. There are days he must feel as though he’s swimming upstream.
For their sixth birthday, Mimi bought each child their own Bible. The wonderful Adventure Bible written for kids but which has every word of scripture in it instead of only bible stories like many children’s Bibles.
The eldest was delighted. On Monday night, he remarked how excited he was about his new Bible, and we took it to his bedroom to read a bedtime story. He spent time thumbing through all the pages trying to figure out what we would read. Back and forth, forth and back, my deliberate slow paced child.
Finally, for reasons I will never know except that God led him there, he settled on reading a portion of Mark 5. The story of Jairus.
Jairus finds Jesus in a crowd and begs him to come see his daughter who is dying, “Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and lived.” Jesus agrees to go but, because the crowd following him is large, it takes a while for them to get to Jairus’ home. While they were en route, Jairus’ family brings him the news his daughter died and urges Jairus not to bother Jesus anymore. Jesus overhears them and tells Jairus, “Don’t’ be afraid; just believe.” When Jesus arrives at the house, he walks into the girl’s room, tells her to get up, and “immediately the girl stood and began to walk around.” (Mark 5:21-43)
The eldest sat rapt the entire story.
At the conclusion, he looked up and said, “It didn’t matter that He was slow.”
Let that settle in.
My son saw something in the miracle I had never seen before. It did not matter that Jesus took His time getting to the girl. It did not matter she died before Jesus arrived. Jesus can do anything. But He does it in His time. And a lot of times, His time feels slow.
I began to well up over what this story had taught my sweet boy, and I responded, “That’s right. Jairus may have been sad or frustrated Jesus took so long getting to his daughter, but Jesus told him to just believe. And Jesus brought his girl back. It didn’t matter that Jesus was slow. Jesus still did it.”
The eldest smiled and nodded. We went on to discuss Jesus’ timing and read the story of Lazarus (John 11) when it took Jesus FOUR whole days to get to Jerusalem where Lazarus had died.
It dawned on me like it dawned on my sweet boy: Jesus moves slowly.
You see no instance in scripture where Jesus hurries past someone in need. Where He announces, hurry up, we’re late. In fact, it’s normally His people who are trying to hurry Jesus while Jesus responds, slow down, let me be with these people.
In this life where I’m trying to teach my children how to be more like Jesus, I could learn a thing or two from my six year old. Jesus moved through the world slowly. Touching individual lives and stories did not prevent Him from accomplishing His purpose here on Earth.
I pray I can encourage my slower paced child to appreciate his internal clock. It may make him more like Jesus. It may give him the ability to touch individual lives more purposefully. It may give him the wiser perspective.
As a parent, I must not try to change him or speed him up. In fact, I could learn a thing or two about repacing my hurried life.
A slower pace will always be the harder course, more now than ever, but I pray my insightful son retains his personal pace in a world filled with people urging us to hurry up.