My mom (who died when I was 9) had a poem in her bathroom that I used to read when I was little. I haven't thought about that poem for years, but its familiar lines have been running through my head this week.
Like most of you, I recognize that school is about to start and with it comes all of the obligations a new year brings. I have added a new child to those obligations and find myself at this time of year always asking myself what my ministry focus is going to be too. All of this has left me a bit overwhelmed and thus the Lord has pulled the words of this poem out of the cobwebs of my memory and laid it before me.
I pray it brings you encouragement as it has me.
Slow me down, Lord!
Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind.
Steady my harried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Amidst the confusions of my day,
The calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves
With the soothing music
Of the singing streams
That live in my memory.
Help me to know
The magical power of sleep,
Teach me the art
Of taking minute vacations
Of slowing down
To look at a flower;
To chat with an old friend
Or make a new one;
To pat a stray dog;
To watch a spider build a web;
To smile at a child;
Or to read a few lines from a good book.
Remind me each day
That the race is not always to the swift;
That there is more to life
Than increasing its speed.
Let me look upward
Into the branches of the towering oak
And know that it grew great and strong
Because it grew slowly and well.
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.