Three miles an hour – it’s roughly the speed humans walk. Mind you, I haven’t timed it. I probably move a bit faster when walking from my 8 a.m. class in the sport science building to my 9 a.m. class in JAAC. If I’m being honest, I dash more than I walk – dash to class, dash to a meeting, dash to the next event. Well, until recently.
Long before this pandemic, Kosuke Koyama wrote on the value of walking, not for physical benefit but for relational fulfillment. In his book Three Mile an Hour God, Koyama reminds us that three miles an hour leads to a “slow life” that seeks “depth rather than distance.”
Life has certainly slowed in recent weeks, but distance not depth has dominated news headlines. Koyama, however, notes that depth stems from engagement, and deep engagement is best achieved at three miles an hour.
As I flip through my calendar from last April, I notice an engagement of doing. My calendar was filled with classes, meetings and end-of-the-year celebrations – all very good things. This April, well it is considerably slower in terms of events. Instead of doing, I find myself being – being intentional, being fully present. I find being requires listening; being requires vulnerability. Doing sprints at 300 miles an hour. Being walks at three.
Out of necessity, I am learning to walk at three miles an hour, and I have been overwhelmed by its richness. Yet, Koyama reminds me I should not be surprised by its depth, as three miles an hour is the speed of God’s love.
May we be in this season, loving one another deeply.