Step Back

In Chariots of Fire, Sam the running coach tells his pupil, Harold, to shorten his stride to gain speed. Seems counter-intuitive doesn’t it? But it works.

Life can be counter-intuitive at times. Even someone as old as I needs to remember to “slow down” from time to time. We get anxious, we worry we are running out of time, and we tell ourselves to speed up, when the opposite is true. We need to pause as Sam would say, “get our feet back underneath us.” The great Razorback running back, David Dickey, can explain.

Surprisingly, Sam’s advice applies to our faith as well. We think we need to know more, to pray more, and fill our day with service. Yet, when we fill our spiritual lives with busy work, we forget to “feel his pleasure.” (Another great line from Chariots of Fire.). 

Advent is one of those times where stepping back seems impossible, but that’s exactly what we should do. It may seem counter-intutive, but listen to the old coach. He knows what he is talking about.

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.


  1. Dear Webb,

    This is excellent…permission to, “get our feet under us” after decades of busy work, career building and networking! Quiet reflection and deeper devotion is the net gain of a contemplative season.

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