THE QUIET: the rhythm of slow
I had big plans this morning.
A long list of to-do’s on a project I want finished in the next few days. To get it done I’ve been up extra early every morning, focusing on what needs doing, falling in bed at the end of the day so tired all I feel is numb.
I thought I needed to work this relentlessly… for God… for my husband… for the ministry to parents we lead together.
I’ve pushed away Phil’s hints that maybe it can wait, that I’m trying too hard, that this pushing isn’t worth what it does to me.
Surely, I thought, God wants this now. He needs this book to inspire parents. All these interruptions just need to be managed better, I need to be more organized, move faster, push myself just a little harder to eek out a little more.
Then this morning something changed.
A friend had sent a homemade candle in a canning jar along with a bag full of fresh greens from his garden. This friend is under real pressure, the kind that only a single dad with a heart full of love for his children can understand.
Me, I’m under pressure because I chose it.
As I lit that little candle and watched it flicker in the shadows of my cabin in the woods— its fragrance reminding me of lemons and verbena and salads fresh from the earth—I couldn’t help but wonder how he’d found the time to make something beautiful for his friends.
A song of my childhood sounded like the tinkle of a music box to my ears that hear nothing,
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
And then His words filtered through the lingering melody and I heard,
In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it… those who were His own did not receive Him…
John 1v 4,5,11
His own had missed His coming into their world.
And for just a moment so had I. Caught up in serving Him, I’d somehow forgotten.
I’d pushed myself past my God-tuned rhythm and tried to be better, faster, more disciplined and committed and… I’d become tense and uptight and too tired to be who He made me to be.
I am not a super-achiever. I am not a multi-tasking, amazing spinner of many plates at the same time. When I try, I leave a trail of broken china and love-deprived people behind.
God made me slow. A ponderer. A delighter in beauty. A relisher of words. A tidier of cupboards who finds wonder in small things.
That’s who He wants me to be— the true me.
When I rush and manage and go faster than I can, I deprive Him—
and my people— of me. The one He likes just as I am.
I stare outside my window and see the glistening of silk strands in the spruce tree. A spider’s trail.
My dog lies waiting for his walk, his limpid eyes letting me know he’s willing whenever I am. Soon the day will radiate the heat of the almost—summer sun and neither of us will want to go.
Could my list wait? Might He bring inspiration on a platter of trust? Might slowing down to the rhythm of God-in-me be just the way to what He wants… for me, for mine, for the work He’s assigned for me to do?
Everything changes with that love-made candle. Such a simple thing. I am righted once again, smiling, listening.
Maybe I won’t get my project done on my self-imposed timeline. Maybe it will take longer and end up better just because I listened to the tune of His song for me.
Maybe I’ll go on a walk right now and listen just a little more.
From my heart,
P.S. What are you learning about your own pace? Are you slow like me or a sprinter who loves the feeling of rushing between rests? I’d love to hear.