Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
My soul finds rest in God alone. (Psalm 62:1)
For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15a)
Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)
“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” (Psalm 116:7)
Barb Smith-Morrison told the story of God feeding the Israelites manna from heaven every morning for five days, on the sixth they gathered twice as much so that they would not have to gather on the seventh. God called the seventh day holy, a day of rest. Our world values busy-ness and productivity, not rest. We need to slow down make time to just hang-out with God.
Click on this link to download a PDF of Barb’s sermon: Slowing and Savouring Sermon
Spiritual Practice Suggestion
“Learning to keep company with Jesus”
Spiritual Practices of Slowing and Savoring – Options
Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing themselves. Leo Tolstoy
Spiritual practices are intended for our good. They are meant to bring the abundance of God into our lives. Turning them into laws or striving for perfectionism is a danger to avoid. Be simple, don’t evaluate yourself, open yourself to the loving presence of Christ as he guides you deeper.
Questions for Reflection
- Do you feel addicted to hurry, rush and adrenaline? Why or why not?
- What is it like for you to choose to do things slowly?
- What exhausts you or keeps you working past your limits?
- When and where do you most deeply rest? Who helps you rest?
“Slowing is intentionally putting yourself in situations where you are forced to slow down by external circumstances. It basically is allowing something else to make you stop in your tracks.” John Ortberg
- Drive in the right lane of a 4 lane highway, going the speed limit.
- Stand in the longest line at the bank or grocery store.
- Linger over a meal and intentionally/think about chewing your food.
- Set your alarm 5 minutes earlier so that when you awake, you can give thanks for the day about to be received and to simply breathe in the presence of God.
What do you notice about your body, mind and soul’s response to slowing down?
2. What gives you life?
“Just make these two lists, and keep the piece of paper where you can see it. Also promise not to shush your heart when it howls for the list it wants.” Barbara Brown Taylor
- Make 2 lists on one piece of paper
- On one side of the paper, list all of the things you know give you life that you never take time to do
- On the other side, make a list of all the reasons why you think it is impossible for you to do those things
- Keep the piece of paper where you can see it
“Silence is the presence of God. Silence always involves the act of listening. God does not shout at us, God is the ‘still, small voice.'” Richard Foster
- Bring a timer, if you struggle with silence. Begin setting it for 10 minutes.
- Sit in a quiet and comfortable place. Take some deep breaths, relax your body and
- quiet your mind.
- Tell God you are here and you desire to listen.
- When distracting thoughts come to mind, notice them, then drop them into the river of God’s peace and let them float away.
- Notice your breathing.
- ‘Ride the river with God’
- Increase the time a little each time you enter silence.
What do you notice about quieting your soul? Don’t get discouraged by distracting thoughts. Practice will help you learn how to best quiet yourself.
Click here to download a copy of Barb’s handout: Spiritual Practices of Slowing and Savouring