Slowing Down

how-to-slow-downBy Ben Smith, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

I pulled over to the side of the road, as the shock began to set in, and called the ambulance. There wasn’t a whole lot of blood but the pain started after I had realised what I’d done. “If only I had slowed down,” I kept telling myself.

That day was the beginning of a forced three month slow down.

Although it was only the tips of three fingers, I had cut off more than I expected. That split second was all it took to change my life. 6 hours of micro surgery to reconnected nerves and blood supply, months of rehabilitation and still another surgery on the horizon. One second turned into an eternity.

ben hand photo

Ben’s hand

Since then, I’ve learned to appreciate the use of both hands a lot more. Tying shoe laces, doing the dishes (although I didn’t complain about not being able to do those…), getting keys out of my pocket and opening jars were all made so complicated. I realised that I needed help for a lot more things. I was even asking my wife to pre-cut my steak! I had become so used to having two hands that I hadn’t even started to appreciate what a blessing it was to have hands from birth.

One morning as I did up my shirt buttons, I had to sit on the edge of my bed because it was taking so long. In that process, I looked out the window and noticed a bird feeding its baby in the nest. Any other day I would have just buttoned my shirt and moved on with my day, not noticing God’s beauty right out my window. It wasn’t long before the “what if” questions turned into “how can” questions. “What if I had just slowed down?” changed into “How can I find ways to slow down?”. It was a simple change in grammar, with a dramatically different outcome in my spiritual life.

ben hand photo2

Ben’s furniture

Today, I am still only typing with two fingers on my left hand, having taught myself to use them quicker. I am back on THAT machine, albeit with a brief pause before each action to make sure things are in the right place, doing the things I love – creating furniture from recycled timber and steel.

May you learn to slow down. Not just for the danger of going too fast, but to notice the still, small voice right outside your window.

Check out more of Ben’s furniture at his online business: From the Roots

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