This morning our youngest son Isaac and I went on our normal early morning visit to the stables for his ride on Leah, the pony he rides. We begin our day early to avoid the heat of the day. It’s a beautiful time of the morning, and most people aren’t even up and about yet. Everything in fact is very quiet, and it’s like we are in another “horsey” world, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday traffic, noise, and life in general.
Today another mum and her teenage daughter were also at the stables, and Isaac was able to help them wash their horse which is something he hasn’t done before. We sat in the morning sun chatting for nearly an hour, as Isaac had a great time. The conversation turned to the fact the many people just don’t give time to doing the extra things that add to the experience of caring for a horse. Everyone is so busy going from one place to the next, that there is simply no time to fully enjoy the little additional joys and special moments that can occur as a result of communing with nature, and taking life slower and at a gentler pace.
Many, if not all of us are guilty of being too busy to be able to take the extra time to go slower. We rush from one activity to the next, squeezing as much as possible into every second, and then we wonder why we feel tired, have lost focus, and don’t hear from God, or communicate well with others.
Ironically most of what we are busy doing so much of, we won’t even remember in twenty years time. Why, because it’s actually not significant to our lives, and is often just filling the space in our day. It’s a bit like spending time with someone, and feeling like you need to make sure there is no silence between you, because the silence makes us feel uncomfortable.
When our kids were little toddlers we would take them for a walk to the park. The “walk” would take a long time because they would inspect and sometimes chat to every flower, ant, and person they saw on their walk. We could have rushed it, picking them up and just getting to our destination, but as most of us know, it’s the journey as well as the destination that is important. It’s in the journey that we learn, discover and find out who we are, and about the world around us.
Perhaps we all need to be more like a little child and practice the old saying, “stop and smell the roses“, which is not simply about flowers, but rather about how to live our life with a deeper appreciation of the world around us. It reminds us to slow down and notice the little things that make life worthwhile. Despite a busy life, it is important to know how to be present in the moment; otherwise those moments will pass us by, and we will quite simply “miss them!”
God’s presence is also all around us; and if we slow down, and find a quiet space to draw near to Him, we will recognise His closeness far more often. He wants to share the mysteries of the universe with us; to share His heart, and plans with us, and to give us answers to our questions, and the issues we face everyday. But it is in quietness that we find strength, it’s in slowing the pace that we find balance and a healthier, happier, richer and less stressful life.
Today, I encourage you to slow down, draw near to God in the quiet, and appreciate everything that’s around you, as you “stop and smell the roses”.
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)
Prayer: Lord please help me to slow down, and to draw near to you, instead of always filling my life with activity and noise. In Jesus Name Amen.