Sunday, December 4, 2022

Slowing Down

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with a friend and coworker. 

I think she spent somewhere between 30 min. and an hour in the chair opposite my desk.  She started out with small talk and asking me about me.  Then, talk changed to her life.

I sat and listened.  It was good to see her share and exhale.  I knew she needed it.  

One of the things she mentioned was slowing down.  At our high school jobs, we rarely have time to sit still, exhale, or even THINK most of the time.  It can be an exhausting job, but it is always still rewarding helping young adults and sometimes troubled adults heal and find their pathways.

I got what she was saying.  I face the same things and obstacles in my job, which I will say right now, is not nearly as "giving" as hers.  You get in the car after maybe a 12-hour day and just want to exhale.  You want to put on your music or maybe just remain silent and enjoy the quiet of your 30-min. ride home.  You get home and you just want to REST and not give anymore.

But - so often - that is not how life works.  People want to talk to you; people need you.  And so you - sometimes begrudgingly - "give."  But not so much out of a grateful heart, which - of course - leads to hurt feelings and more giving you have to do.  You end up crawling into bed at night exhausted and wondering who you are.

You lose time at the Cross.  You lose yourself.  What about those side businesses you created?  They are not flourishing.  What about those friends that have messaged and are waiting for an answer?  They are not flourishing.  What about all the creative ideas God is inspiring you to do?  They are not flourishing.

It is so very important to sit STILL and hear God.  Find yourself, and I mean this in a non-New Age way.  If we are not STILL and LISTEN, we will not flourish and our time at the Cross and with those we love and the ideas God has given us will die.  They will never flourish.

This seems to be a common theme in my life the last few days.  I need that time ALONE to reconnect to my own spirit as well as take some time to sit at the Cross.

Fast forward to this morning.  Imagine my surprise when I found this devotion.  I'm going to end here by sharing it in its entirety.  I hope you take the time to LISTEN to this, read it carefully, and then make sure you are carving out time in your life to sit at the Cross and also to find yourself.  Life is exhausting.  You simply cannot give all the time.  You must have times of stillness, quietness, and being alone to reconnect to your Spirit and to the very GREAT Spirit of God - the Holy Spirit.

Happy Sunday to anyone reading this.  I hope your day is good and kind and fruitful.

UPDATE: I wrote this before church earlier this morning.  I got here to church, and the Worship Leader stopped in between songs to talk about the "busy-ness" of the Season and how we should slow down.  Fast forward to the Preacher's message - he is preaching on slowing down and focusing on the word PACE.

I think God is speaking.  Are we listening? 🎄❤️

"Slow It Down

Everyone knows morning comes first, and then evening. Right? So I was surprised to read in Genesis 1:5 that the order was, in fact, reversed: “And there was evening, and there was morning.” God started with evening, a time of rest, and a day followed, in which he continued to create.

We live in a culture where we work all day, and then eventually we might take time to rest. To order our days the way God does—with rest as a priority—is a challenge.

I learned to prioritize God’s way when, at age 32, I was diagnosed with cancer. I told the doctor I didn’t have time for cancer, but cancer didn’t consult my schedule.

My life changed while going through treatment as I put aside activities that previously had seemed vital. Out of that difficult time came a new list of priorities. At the top of the list: to balance my life.

I learned to climb between the sheets and put aside my worries—to rest my body and mind. To slow down when life became crazy and assess what is important. I began to see evening as the first part of my day.

This concept changed my life, physically and spiritually. Recently I had two speaking events sandwiched together. As the dates approached, time with my heavenly Father became “evening.” In preparation for my events, I listened to the heart of my Father instead of going over my notes. Out of that rest sprang fruitful ministry during the day.

Learning to live with evening, or rest, as a top priority is an ongoing process. Many times I ask God to help me reprioritize, make time for physical rest and put “evening” back where it belongs.

By T. Suzanne Elle"

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