I once heard that the first speeding ticket ever given was to a 26-year-old taxi driver who was going 12 miles per hour in an 8 mph zone.
12 miles per hour.
In the 100-meter sprint, Usain Bolt was clocked in at running almost 28 miles an hour. More than double what the taxi driver was going.
As of date, the fastest speeding ticket in the USA was given to a motorist going 242 mph—230 miles per hour more than the first speeding ticket ever given.
Our cars are fast, our music is fast, the ability to find out information is fast. We walk quickly, talk quickly, and sometimes jump to conclusions just as quickly.
So what’s the rush?
For me, rushing is a type of defensive wall. People might realize that I don’t know what I’m doing if they see I’m not hurrying to do it—though I don’t think any of us really know what “it” is.
I fill spaces in my time to look as driven as everyone else—whipping out my phone at the elevator, at a café, or in line for groceries to make me look busy.
So I’ve started doing spiritual checks. It’s similar to when you’re thrown off a four-wheeler and you analyze how your body is without moving it to make sure there isn’t anything broken—it’s like that, only in a spiritual manner.
I have the luxury of living near mountains, it’s one of the best ways to physically remove myself from the world.
It’s okay to go 3 mph while you’re up here—the average walking speed. And if you slow down to 0 mph the trees don’t complain.
For a few quiet hours, the memory of the city is replaced with the rustling of aspen leaves, the scent of wet pine trees, and the steady movement of the stream.
It’s a place where I can take a breath.
In the mountains, it’s okay to be still and think.
Here you can break away from the day-to-day and go back to the basics. There are deer tracks next to patches of grass, chipmunks in the branches above, and if you’re lucky you’ll see a caterpillar spinning itself into a cocoon.
Here you can commune with God because you’ve made time to talk with him. In those hours you can let Him into your heart, and surrender your worries.
Here you can check in with yourself. How are you? What is your body telling you that you’ve been ignoring? What’s your mental state like? Are there things hurting your spirit? What repairs need to be done?
Apps That Can Help
Not everyone lives near mountains—even those living nearby don’t always have the time to go. However, we do have the ability to be still and check in with ourselves regardless of where we are.
There are several devices that can help us pause from hurrying around and check in with ourselves—even if it’s while we’re at a bus stop, shopping, or going from meeting to meeting.
Some of them can send us a reminder to clear our minds.
Others track our body movement and tell us when to relax.
And there are others that can transport us to a better state of mind by providing soothing sounds.
These types of apps provide ways for us to ignore the way the world seems to speed by and be mindful of our own internal rhythm. They remind us to do a spiritual check.
When you’re in the mountains you analyze how your body is doing: Out of breath? You’re hiking too quickly so you slow down. Muscles cramping up? Take a few seconds to stretch. Stomach growling? Time for a snack.
We sometimes forget this in the day-to-day. If you’re out of breath, you walk faster to get to the office quicker. Or if your muscles are cramping, you keep going because you don’t have time to stretch. Or if your stomach growls you work through lunch because that’s the only time when the office is quiet and you focus better.
Having the notifications from the apps can help remind us to check in with ourselves, in the same manner, we do when we’re in nature when we’re in the city.
This type of technology can help us go from an overwhelming 242 mph to a much slower rate of 3 mph as they transport us to places where we can find healing.
What devices do you use to be mindful in a rushing world? Tweet us at @MyFaithCounts.
Miryelle Resek enjoys hiking, four-wheeling, rock climbing, and wakeboarding but is actually terrified of mountains, heights, and water. It’s a struggle.