It was a few months ago now that a friend recommended to me a unique film project entitled Godspeed: The Pace of Being Known. I carved out some leisurely space late one afternoon at the office, sat down and watched the film, and it has been stirring with me ever since. I actually just rewatched it this morning.
Godspeed tells the story of one American pastor’s journey to serve a parish in Scotland and its impact on his life and ministry. Or as the website puts it– What happens when a city boy with a pocket full of sermons, lands in a Scottish parish?
The story has a far broader audience than pastors or missionaries. For all of us who are perhaps sensing that the pace of our lives might be squeezing out the things that are most important, I would encourage you to spend time with this story. Godspeed reminded me of Dorothy Bass’s words when she asks,
“How can we live faithfully and with integrity here, where the pace of existence is so fast and life’s patterns are changing all around us? Can we conduct our daily lives in ways that help us not just to get by but to flourish–as individuals, as communities, and as a society, in concert with all creation and in communion with God?”
So … enough set up; find some leisurely space, sit down and watch Godspeed. My favorite character is a Scotsman named Alan Torrance. You will meet him right off the bat.
Enjoy. Ponder. And let me know what it is stirring in your mind and heart. And may we all be open to living Godspeed…
Godspeed was shot in three days, in three villages, by three friends. What began as a five minute video ended as a half-hour portrait of the people and places who had taught Matt to repent & rest.
During our VP3 Webinar: Barriers to Spiritual Growth on Wednesday, I was struck by the panelists’ and audience’s interest in discussing busyness as a chief barrier to maturity in our faith communities. I found myself later in the afternoon returning to the question, what does a busy pace do that so frustrates our maturity?
It seems the relationship of busyness to Christian maturity boils down to the issues of attention and distraction. On the whole, we certainly are busy, busy people. We have meetings to attend, dinners to prepare, children to pick up, papers to finish, vacations to plan, projects to complete, things to maintain and repair, sermons to preach, houses to clean, lunch appointments to keep, on and on. Life presses in on us and, perhaps instinctively, we do all we can to press back. Many good things and important things stack up, and we busy ourselves with such things. In time, these many things shape our schedules and even our consciousnesses into a form that is ill suited to an attentive life.
When it comes to our capacities for a pace that is life giving, people reflect a wide range of differences. Some people move more deliberately and slowly, others simply move faster due to a variety of factors including stage of life or capability or temperament. So there is not a one-size-fits-all prescribed or preferred pace.
What we must pay close attention to, though, is the interrelationship between our pace and our attentiveness. The great danger in all of this is that the pace of our lives squeezes out critical human concerns (e.g. community well being, job effectiveness, parenting children, a flourishing inner life, a God consciousness, kingdom-responsibility). Whether we are Christians or not, we are all vulnerable to living a way of life that fails to pay attention to the most important things in life. A rushed or hurried or frenetic pace most often blurs our attention and causes us to overlook all sorts of things and people.