Something I don’t do very well is slow down. It is so important to slow down, think a little, and be grateful. I don’t take vacations very well. It is my fault and my own undoing. I don’t take much time off either. Again, my fault.
However, this past July we did step away for a week. We did not go anywhere. We just stayed home and did nothing. We broke our normal, eating habits and ate at the Cheesecake factory. Yes, we got cheesecake. It was so good! We just slowed down. The following week was our VBS, and the following week Jody started back to school. So, life started all over with a vengeance. But the week of down time was so refreshing, so relaxing...even though it took me until Wednesday to unwind.
“Slow down and think a little to be grateful.” What a powerful thought. First, slow down. At least in the Dallas area, we live at breakneck speed all the time. Our lives are fast-paced. There is little time to apply the brakes. That is why we deal with burn-out. I am impressed that God imposed on Israel a time for them to stop and rest. While in bondage, they had no rest time. No time to give themselves to more important things, like worshipping God. No time for family. No time for re-creation. Here is an important thought; if we don’t slow down, our bodies will eventually slow us down. Health is sacrificed.
Next, slow down and think a little. I am persuaded that the primary reason God had Israel to rest was so they could think, think about Him. We need time to think. Think about God working in our lives. Time to open our eyes to great blessings He gives us. Time to appreciate the beauty of life. Time to enjoy our children and grandchildren. Time to satiate ourselves with our mates. Time with God’s book. Time to meditate and discover ourselves in relation to God. Time to take inventory of where we need to grow and stretch ourselves. Time to think and just breathe.
Further, slow down, think a little, and be grateful. I am convinced one of our great problems is our failure to take the time to be grateful. Our busy lives do not allow us time to meditate and be grateful. To be thankful, we must think. To think, we must slow down. A lack of gratitude was one of the failings of the Gentiles. It led to their immorality (Rom. 1:21). We sing, “Count your blessings and name them one by one,” then express gratitude to God for all He has given us. If we will be filled with greater gratitude, we will spend less time complaining. We will spend less time finding fault with others. We will have less time to spend on social media and have our blood pressure rise because of the nonsense that is often mindlessly spewed out. Deeper gratitude leads to peace with God, peace with self, peace with others, and peace with life. Turn off the hectic pace of life. Unplug from all the distractions and turn on gratitude. Slow down and think about it. I did and I found a lot for which I am truly grateful.