I was reading through evaluations from my latest class of students in the Introduction to Biblical Literature class I teach on occasion for Shorter University when I ran across the following: "Thanks for telling us to slow down and read the stories in the Bible. No one has ever said that to me." Lord, help me practice what I teach!
Several years ago the Ladies' Sunday School class placed a bird feeder outside my office window for Pastor Appreciation Day. Tricia has faithfully maintained it since. This simple gift allows me opportunity to observe a variety of birds (colorful), chipmunks (cute), squirrels (pests), mice (?), and the occasional "circle-of-life" thing as the hawk swings through the neighborhood. We all need times to retreat and "get away from it all." We can all benefit from a moments a day to "be still."
These random thoughts brought me back to a book of prayers and a remembrance of Psalm 23 for Busy People as written by a believer in Tokyo: The Lord is my pace-setter, I shall not rush; He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals, He provides me with images of stillness, which restores my serenity. He leads me in the way of efficiency, through calmness of mind; and His guidance is peace. Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day I will not fret, for His presence is here. His timelessness, His all-importance will keep me in balance. He prepares refreshment and renwal in the midst of activity, by anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility; my cup of joyous energy overflows. Surely harmony and effectiveness shall me the fruits of my hours and I shall walk in the pace of my Lord, and dwell in His house for ever.