It’ been said that if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy. We can’t become truly pious if we’re too busy to make time for God and for others. I have a tendency to do this. I become so caught up with expedient things, I lose track of the things that have eternal value. I forget that even Jesus made time to get away and rest. I miss bits of God’s grace and the people He wants me to serve. I forget to listen for his voice. This poem is a good reminder to slow down and pay attention. I had a very hectic weekend, so I even if nobody else needs to hear this today, I do!
Slow me down Lord, I am going too fast:
I can’t see my brother when he’s walking past.
I miss a lot of good things day by day;
I don’t know a blessing when it comes my way.Slow me down, Lord I want to see
More of the things that are good for me.
A little less of me and a little more of you,
I want the heavenly atmosphere to trickle through.Let me help my brother when the going is rough:
When folks work together life isn’t so tough.
Slow me down, Lord so I can talk
With some of your angels.
Slow me down to a walk.Brother John G. Ottis
This short poem was written by Avery Brooke, a spiritual director and author of books on prayer and meditation. I think it captures the essence of the Christmas season in Christian community.
Mary, Joseph and the young Jesus, hold hands in a circle.
We, with family (and friends), hold hands in a circle.
And God’s circle weaves in and out of our circle while the light grows brighter,
the hearts fonder, and we feel like singing.
As I was looking for a filler to finish off our church newsletter this morning (yes, I am the editor), I came across this poem I wrote years and years ago. I thought I’d share it as it speaks to our many roles in life and how to handle them.
A Modern Day Psalm
Does life really have to be this hard?
I just want to be myself for a change instead of someone else’s
Whatever it is I spend most of my time being.
Sometimes my relationships seem to be strangling me instead of fulfilling me …
I want to be free
I want to please myself.
The trouble is I’m not really sure who I am or what pleases me
I’m to accustomed to being all of those other people instead.
Maybe I can find myself and You, too, if I really pray.
Maybe there’s a place for me in Your plan. Me the wife, and mother and daughter and sister and all the other Mes.
Maybe You’ll tell me if I listen.
Some of you probably saw this one coming–you know I love John Donne.
Here comes my English major moment for the month. The Hound of Heaven is a poem written by English poet Francis Thompson (1859-1907). It’s long (182 lines) so I’ll just give you a taste here. Of course, the Hound of Heaven is God. If you’ve ever felt like God was pursuing you ( and He is–while we were still sinners, He died for us) you might like to look it up and read the whole thing.