Thanks to a Snail I’m Trading Hurry for Peace

By Trillia Newbell

kids with snailSometimes I wonder if I’m teaching my kids or if my children are teaching me. Sure—I am teaching them the ways of the Lord. I am teaching them to obey and submit. I am prayerfully teaching them to love their neighbor. Most importantly I try to demonstrate my own love for God and dependence on Him.

But often I am reminded of various promises in Scripture or certain virtues because of them.  Recently I’ve been learning patience and stillness.

My kids aren’t in a hurry—ever. I, on the other hand, remain in a constant state of hurry. That might be an exaggeration, but really, I’m in a hurry often. Though I am a slow learner, by the grace of God I am a learner. Lately because of my kids I am learning to slow down, soak in, and enjoy the here and the now.

One great example happened on Monday.  My son had finished up school and I was picking him up to leave. We walked outside as usual, Weston on one side of me holding his backpack and Sydney on the other, when they spotted a snail. This wasn’t just any snail; it was a snail that still had his shell.

My kids were ecstatic. They wanted to look at him and pick him up and explore. They truly marveled at the creature- God’s little creature. So I stopped.  My first thought was to hurry it along so we could get home but I didn’t. I let them watch the snail and enjoy the moment for as long as they wanted. After about ten minutes we moved on. It was so much fun to watch them!

So why the hurry?

Rush, Rush, Rush for Nothing

The truth is I didn’t have one thing to truly be in a hurry for. Actually, when I stop and think about it, rarely do I have anything of much importance to be in a hurry for. But everything always seems so urgent. Perhaps it’s the day and age I live in. The age of instant news, instant emails, instant connections: the age of the Internet. I could blame it on that. But really it’s just my heart.

I think what I have to do is much more important than it really is. I’m a mini-god during those times. My time is of great value even when I don’t have anything really to do. Rushing and hurriedness produces anxiety, irritability and impatience in my heart.  I want to put those things off. Good news is I can put those things off.

Trading Hurry for Peace

I’m learning to be set free from a selfish, self-focused, hurried life because Christ has set me free (Gal 5:1). Even in these situations, like watching my kids look at snails, I’m learning to walk by the Spirit and not by the desires of my flesh. Let me tell you, the Spirit is much sweeter. By the simple act of stopping for my children I was putting on: love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (Gal 5:22).  I’m so thankful God would teach me and show me my sin so I might change!

What I am learning to do is slow down. Not only am I learning to slow down, I’m learning to enjoy where I am. Only God can help me put off sin and he is being faithful to do it (Phil 1:6).

Slowing down and putting off self is ultimately producing peace in my life.  God is giving me peace in my heart about my supposed must do’s, peace while I wait, and peace to enjoy my children.

What about you? Do you relate to me and my hurried lifestyle? Do you want to learn how to slow down and enjoy God, your children, your roommates, etc.?  

God can give you peace too! Ask him to and then when you hear that “still small voice” saying stop—listen.


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