Lessons on Slowing Down from a Downs-Syndrome Child

When I was in High School I was a member of the track team.  (Hey, that’s pretty far back there!)  My three events were the 220-yard dash, the low hurdles, and the 440-yard race.  The one I hated the most, and the one that took the most out of me was the 440-yard run.  That was one time around the track as fast as I could go, all out for the total circle.

Sometimes I feel like the USA culture represents the 440-yard dash.  And in order to manage the pace, I need to be at the top of my game in terms of time management on a daily basis.

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Some time ago I sat down to figure out how to manage the myriad details of my job in a better way.  That was a great exercise.  I didn’t change the pace of the culture, but it helped me manage it better.  If you are interested in better work-load management, please check out my e-book, “Zero-Based Daily Management.

But, the question is also, “How are you managing with the pace of our culture?”  Do you ever feel worn out and stressed at the end of the day because you were running the 440-yard dash for the past 10 hours?

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'”

Even in Jesus culture — surely a slower paced one than ours — there was a value in slowing down, pulling away, and relieving the body of the pressure of the fast-paced, event-filled life!  We can’t get away from the speed of our culture.  But suppose we could slow down the pace a bit with a different perspective.  And what if that different perspective could come from observing the life of a Downs Syndrome child?

In the extensive blog post I’m referencing here, you will find an excellent article on the theme of changing our perspective to slow down in the midst of a fast-paced culture, by Elisa Fryling Stanford.  She is a writer and editor living in Colorado. She’s authored Ordinary Losses: Naming the Graces That Shape Us.  Elisa and her husband, Eric, have two daughters.

“My daughter Eden is slow. I know that sounds negative. It feels almost like a betrayal to write it. Our world rarely welcomes slowness. But Eden, who is nine years old and has Down syndrome, remains unaware of the need to rush. Ever.

This morning she walked out of the house with mismatched mittens, me pushing her from behind and her dad ushering her forward, one bus driver . . . ”   (read more . . .)

(www.LifeImpactMinistries.net)

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About Dave Grissen

David & Sheri Grissen spent 44 years in mission and humanitarian aid work. In 2003 they established Life Impact, a ministry of strengthening Christian workers in hosted centers, called Oases. Presently 12 Oases are functioning. www.LifeImpactMinistries.net. In 2016 they started Fund The Ministry to help missionaries create new funding for their ministries. www.FundTheMinistry.com. They have five married children and fifteen grandchildren.
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