I took a long walk this morning in the pre-dawn glimmer. Just to clear my mind. Cluttered thoughts whirling, twirling since I opened my eyes, way too early. I really just wanted to close them again, pull up the covers, and drift back into a dream, but knew such a gift was an impossibility. I was awake. It was done. Bombardment of a myriad of thoughts clamoring for attention, burdens pressing hard on my spirit, plaguing my mind, too many things to be contained in one heart.
You may understand, all too well.
Usually I run. Today, I walked. Long. Took cues from my dog. Stopping a lot along the path…breathing in fresh, cool morning air…listening to sounds, birds, wind…noticing things around me that normally would never catch my attention. Dogs are really very wise. If only we would listen more to what they try to tell us. Slow down. Listen. Look. Breathe.
Thoughts swirled. Conversations with Him. Time passed. Peace came.
So often in life we run. We’re busy. We’re pressed for time. We rub shoulders every day with people who are desperate, hurting, lonely. Sometimes we notice, but often we don’t. We’re just too busy, preoccupied, or overwhelmed ourselves. And to be quite honest, many days, “we” are those people, the desperate, the hurting, the lonely. Just needing someone to notice. To slow down. To take time.
Crazy world we live in, huh?
We desperately need joy-givers, hope-bringers, those in our lives who will help us remember what it is to breathe.in.grace.
We desperately need to BE those kinds of people for the ones who are starving. For joy. For hope. For grace.
For many of us, running comes naturally – active, moving, stirring, going – it’s what we’re all about. It’s the slowing down and stopping to listen and notice, that seems very, well, unnatural.
We’re rewarded for how much we accomplish, we live in a culture that praises movement, we tend to get impatient with those who are too slow about anything.
Nothing wrong with running. Or being active. Except this one thing.
We often never stop.
We’re too busy to stop. We even forget what it feels like. So much so, that when we finally do, we feel like we’ve wasted time. We feel guilty for being “lazy.” Or we feel some sudden pressing need to check an electronic device, to see if someone needs us, or to make sure we haven’t missed something really important in those past few minutes that we tried to slow down.
Slowing down takes work. Stopping and just breathing – takes practice.
Maybe that’s why God says it so clearly…
Seems simple enough. Yet often the hardest thing in the world.
Be still and know, be still and know, be still and know that He is God.
Breathing in His grace today. And slowing down…