“Slow down, I’ll…”

My dad loved to take impromptu trips to the hardware store when I was a kid. His business had stabilized enough by the time I was a young teen that he could pick up a tool or gizmo or gadget whenever he wanted it. The trips would usually start with him picking up his keys, walking by me and saying, “Come on, let’s go to the store.” His call to action was always accompanied by a smile.

I loved those little jaunts to the nearby Wagner Hardware or Handy Dan Home Improvement. I never knew what we’d walk out with. The walk in often resulted in the same comment. Dad’s words have stayed with me for 50+ years.

Dad was 43 years old when I was born. He walked crisply with perfect posture, and I was young and energetic. What dad had in posture, I had in pace.  It would only take a few steps after getting out of the car before I was ahead of him, heading to our shopping adventure.

“Slow down and I’ll walk with you,” he would say.

His message was a simple reminder. It serves as a reminder to this day.

Slow down. Slow….down.

Slow down the pace of living, working, planning, measuring success…slow down. You might find that you’ve been missing more than just seeing things; you have left people behind. Some are friends, some are strangers and some are people you love. Slow down and see the opportunity to engage with and listen to people while in line at the store, or when looking at the same items on the shelf as the person next to you. Slow down and see the opportunities that you encounter everyday at work, at the gas station, at church, at chamber luncheons, in waiting rooms.

Before you head out the door again, pause. Slow your pace. Notice throughout your day who you might have otherwise left behind had you not slowed your pace and heard the world say, “Slow down and I’ll walk with you.”

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