You can make it if you hurry, then slow hurry down

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Faith, Nature, Writing and Reading | 6 comments |

“We can just make it if you hurry,” her husband shouts over the roar of two skiffs’ engines, hers and his. Their boats are heavy with salmon pulled from the Gulf of Alaska, and they must deliver their catch to the tender on time. That means, instead of going around the island, traversing a narrow channel with hidden boulders below the water. He’s done this all his life; she’s only gone this way a few times, and never in the dark with a load of fish.

Story from Leslie Leyland Fields, Nearing a Far God: Praying the Psalms with our Whole Selves

Hurry up!

Most of the time when walking the dogs, I’m not in a hurry. Plenty of “nose up, nose down” time. But when we’re leaving for a period of time, such as going to church, or at night before going to bed, we always give the dogs their “hurry up,” our term for them to relieve themselves. 

There are times when we must hurry, or we’ll miss our chance to find safety or comfort.

Slow hurry down

Even when in a hurry, we need to slow down. As Richard Rohr reflected some years ago, “Being in a hurry or impatient for some particular outcome creates sensations in our bodies. Notice what this impatience feels like, where it shows up—your jaw, neck, chest, hands, or gut. Be present to the feeling. Then slowly expand your awareness to include what your senses are taking in from the outside world.”

As the equinox approaches, I listen and pray while walking, hoping that spring flowers—such as these Virginia Blue Bells, the snow-drop blossoms on the Mountain Pieris, and Vinca Minor periwinkles—will slow, too, and last longer. And that I perceive God’s path for me and appreciate His creation.

Rohr: “While you walk, see, hear, smell, and touch. Touch the living earth with your bare hands. Feel the breeze and listen to the birds. Be present to this moment. Celebrate the beauty and mystery of our universe. Give thanks for the abundance of air, water, food, and shelter we receive every day. Praise the Creator. Let the reality of both your impatience and the outer reality be as they are, without attaching to them. It is what it is.”

All is grace, even when we’re in danger and praying God will hurry our rescue.

Hurry, help me!

The ocean slaps Leslie Leyland Fields’ skiff. She listens for her husband’s engine over the sound of hers. There’s just enough moonlight, dim behind the clouds, for her to see his wake ahead. She’s afraid and would rather be anywhere else. But here she is trying not to run into a boulder, or lose the fish, or die.

“Help me, Lord,” she prays. While navigating Alaska’s dangerous waters, she recites the 23rd Psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd… He leads me beside quiet waters.” She slows as rocks appear just feet away on both sides. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” She’s through the spit and sees the lights of the tender where the fish are delivered. “My cup runneth over.” Then He delivers her home safely. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Nearing a Far God: Praying the Psalms with our Whole Selves releases tomorrow on the spring equinox.

Linkup with Five Minute Friday:


  1. E. Adams Wright

    Thanks for the gift of words and photos, Carol.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you for reading!

  2. Angie

    Good to be reminded of this truth

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you for reading, Angie!

  3. bigskybuckeye

    Amen. Praising God for His encouragement to slow down and appreciate His creation even more. I enjoy our walks through two nearby nature parks, and one even has some Virginia Blue Bells living along a shaded creek.

    • Carole Duff

      Always good to hear from you, Richard! Our walks connect us with God. He seeks us in so many ways, and all we have to do is answer.


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