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Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes

Are you impatient with slowpokes and frustrated by waiting? If so, you will identify with what Chelsea Wald wrote in a recent article:

Not long ago I diagnosed myself with the recently identified condition of sidewalk rage. It’s most pronounced when it comes to a certain friend who is a slow walker. Last month, as we sashayed our way to dinner, I found myself biting my tongue, thinking, I have to stop going places with her if I ever want to … get there!

Slowness rage is not confined to the sidewalk, of course. Slow drivers, slow Internet, slow grocery lines—they all drive us crazy. Slow things drive us crazy because the fast pace of society has warped our sense of timing. Things that our great-great-grandparents would have found miraculously efficient now drive us around the bend. Patience is a virtue that’s been vanquished in the Twitter age.

Make no mistake: Society continues to pick up speed. In his book, Social Acceleration, Hartmut Rosa informs us that the speed of human movement from pre-modern times to now has increased by a factor of 100. The speed of communications has skyrocketed by a factor of 10 million, and data transmission has soared by a factor of around 10 billion. A study found that even our walking speed has increased by 10 percent since the 1990s.

Wald concludes:

So, on a recent stroll with my slow-walking friend, I think fondly of her charming sense of humor, our fun outings, her support during tough times. As we walk, languidly, to a restaurant, I feel momentarily free of my sidewalk rage. Yet as this warm feeling passes over me in the restaurant, I begin quietly raging at the server, the kitchen, and I’m even raging at my rage; it feels like it’s lasting forever.

Possible Preaching Angles:

1) Frustration; Impatience; Waiting – Frustrated by slow people and slow answers to prayer? Slow down, take a deep breath, and try counting your blessings. Thank God for all the conveniences you enjoy in your life. Recognize that God has a purpose in delaying your timing. 2) Pastor; Minister – Don’t rush from one person to the next after the service or become frustrated if one congregant requires extra time. Give each person your full attention and care, showing them that they matter to God.

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