Thursday, December 1, 2016
3 Tips to Help Slow Down And Seek The Lord
"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always."
1 Chronicles 16:11
Last month, while most of Chicagoland was watching the World Series Champs (Go Cub Go!) in the parade, I was walking and enjoying the fall colors at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. The retreat morning had been on my calendar for November 4th since early October, and I was looking forward to my alone time with the Lord even though millions of people were cheering on the Cubs without me.
I wanted to walk the trail my friends, Janet and Kelli, had shown me in the spring and I noticed this time that the trail was called “Joy Path”. At the bottom of the sign (pictured above) it states. “No Runners”. Not being a runner myself (except when I have to save my son who loves to run away from me even though a car is coming!) this made me happy but it also made me think. How often am I rushing and running around trying to keep up with caring for my special child and all of life's other demands only to miss the Lord speaking to me?
It’s rare that I map out a few hours to pray, read the Bible, walk in nature and seek his face like David talks about in 1 Chronicles -- but how about 20 minutes of quiet time a day? That seems doable most of the time. I came away from my time at the arboretum refreshed and thankful to the Lord. And man the timing was great—right before Election Day and a new president.
I’m hoping to make this a quarterly date and it really helped writing it in my calendar like I would if I was meeting a friend of the human variety.
Besides adding it to my calendar, a second thing that helped me keep the date was not putting a ton of pressure on myself to have a big spiritual moment. Wonderful if that happens but God knows where we are at emotionally, spiritually and physically at every second. So if laying on a bench in the sun halfway through the walk to enjoy His creation was all I could muster (it was!) it isn’t a surprise to Him.
The third thing that helps me is to just plan on the first part of my quiet time knowing my mind will be whirling with random thoughts and things I should be doing. And guess what? That’s okay! I either use my phone or a pad of paper to write down these distractions or my to-do list and then I know I won’t forget and can come back to them later.
I hope and pray we can each enter our own version of the joy path with our Lord and Savior—especially during this Christmas season.
Pray: Lord, forgive us when we rush around like we are in charge and not you. Help us to slow down even for a few minutes to connect with you in the midst of caregiving and all the other craziness of life.