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SLOWING DOWN

on December 18, 2019

Some mornings, I take my time. I sip my coffee and soak in Jesus’ presence, which is everywhere if we let our guards down. If the babies sleep in, I sneak out for a quick run with worship music blasting in my headphones, running faster as the lyrics proclaim truth into my heart. But most mornings, my kids are up by 6 a.m. I might get five minutes by myself in the morning. 

After morning time, every minute of the day seems overwhelmingly full. There is always something or someone I feel like I’m neglecting. And often, that person is my Heavenly Father.

Rushed and over-stimulated, I shoot up a scattered prayer before falling asleep. Woosh, what a day. I’m so done. Help our babies sleep tonight, Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful, full life. I’m in awe of you, Lord. Thank you for your presence. I feel you here with me. Can you please help heal my anxiety? Show me the way, Lord. You are the way-maker, in Your Holy and Mighty Name. 

Silence.

Can’t sleep. 

Eyes half-open, I reach for my phone. The blue light comforts my boredom. My inability to rest satisfied with endless options. Maybe my brain won’t shut off because I doubt if the God of the Universe cares about me. Is He going to provide for me? Yes, sure He will. He always has. 

But waiting for Him to respond is not natural. Our culture views slowing and waiting as a weakness. It’s human nature to feel satisfaction from being productive with our time.  We aren’t satisfied with sitting still. Author Ann Voskamp describes this insatiable desire for more in her best-selling book, One Thousand Gifts, “Our fall was, and always has been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”

We trade His presence for people-pleasing, Christmas lists, and holiday get-togethers. Pride takes over, and we can’t wait on God to speak or move. We take matters in our hands and stop trusting. But “if you only trust when He says yes, that’s not the blessed life, that’s the entitled life,” Pastor Ralph Castillo said in a recent sermon. Yikes. 

Jesus is coming after each of us, whether we choose to pay attention or not. His ways are higher than people-pleasing, Christmas wish lists, and holiday plans. And as the birds trust the turning of the weather and fly south for colder months, may we too stop and reclaim the gentleness of the Prince of Peace.

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