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Christian Counseling - Slow Me Down, Lord

Slow me down, Lord
Ease the pounding of my heart
by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision
of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, amid the confusion of the day,
the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves and
muscles with the soothing music of the
singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical, restoring
power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations
of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat
with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines
from a good book.
Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to
send my roots deep into the soil of life's
enduring values that I may grow toward
the stars of my greater destiny.

from Pocket Cross, Inc., Houston, PA

It is easy to lose sight of what is important in life. It is easy to become so entangled in the information age or the abundance of opportunities that exist in America. It is easy to subtly exchange life for "have to's," "high-end performance," and "keeping up." Before we know it, we have lost our lives and become taskmasters and slaves. Peace, relaxation, time-out and doing some things you want to do are overshadowed by "must do's." So, we walk a little faster, talk a little faster and complete tasks a little faster, but we also languish, lament and loose our cool.

I joyfully remember visiting Aunts, Uncles and cousins on their farms in upper state New York. There was always a lot of work to be done, but there was always time for talking, listening, kindness, play and a corny farm joke. And there was time to patiently teach me about farm life and to experience its lighter side.

Bailed hay stacked near to the barn ceiling through which a maze would allow us to crawl. Straw poked at you under your shirt. Smiles came easy when you found someone else coming in the opposite direction, knowing the maze was only big enough for one. The mice, who scurried from the morning light when the barn door was opened, seemed a welcomed part of the family, as long as they didn't pay a visit to the house. Horses and cows taught me they didn't tail-twitch because they were happy to see me, but to chase away persistent flies. That was disappointing. Family at dinner, all together, gave you a sense of peace and belonging. We'd hear stories of local and some world news, and each person's daily experience. Amid the hard work and life was the comfort of feeling needed and important. Responsibility and healthy pride were gleaned from completing a share of the work, even if it was shoveling cowpies. It is amazing the kind of games one can create with cowpies. As the sun took rest from its daytime travels, we knew bedtime was near. Soon, two crowing cocks would signal the start of another day, and happily so, on most days.

Stories are so important. It gives us a chance for vicarious living. It gives us new ways to think about and live life. Most of us are attracted to people who live a slower paced life with peace and contentment. Perhaps the Lord uses those people to help slow down others who live life at the speed of a driver on a European autobahn.

We live in the Age of Stress, and it seems tiredness covers the earth. The complaints about these are as frequent as the dropping of fall leaves. The busyness can overwhelm to the point that people feel they can't do anything about it, and don't know where to begin. So, here is a point of entry. "Cease striving and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). The presence of God is meant to have a calming effect.

Recovery begins with a time-out from the ways in which we live. In that sacred place we find peace and refreshment. We come to understand how we are living our lives, how we and others lived in times past, and how we and God want it to be. The difference between our real life and the ideal one can stir us to action. Consider giving yourself 30 days in which you slow down and cease striving by taking regular time-outs from life as usual. Get to know the peace of God, assess the quality of your life, then dream, pray and do something different.

2 comments (Add your own)

1. frankmancusophd wrote:
Thanks for your comment. May God give you and your family a quiet peace.

11/13/2009 @ 4:03 AM

2. Anonymous wrote:
Thank you for the reminder! I reread the post a 2nd and 3rd time because it actually reminded me of the calm,unhurried days of my past, as if it were a lifetime ago. Even as I write this, my alarm rings to signal the task of picking up children from school. The irony of it! And if there was ever a time to be still and know that HE is God is when we are all gathered in as a family. He is Good!

11/12/2009 @ 8:19 PM

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