We are all busy with so many things, and there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. And while I am looking forward to making my annual retreat later this month, we need to find ways to slow down even when we are not on retreat.
Many years ago I shared a prayer by Wilfred Arlan Peterson, titled Slow Me Down, Lord. While I have sometimes given it to retreatants as a welcome prayer at the beginning of a directed retreat to help them settle into the retreat, it is even more useful in the midst of the craziness of our everyday lives. So I thought to share it again here:
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace. Give me, amidst the day’s confusion, the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tension of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep. Teach me the art of taking “minute vacations”…slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to read a few lines from a good book.
Remind me of the fable of the hare and the tortoise; that the race is not always to the swift; that there is more to life than measuring the speed.
Let me look up at the branches of the towering oak and know that it grew slowly and well. Inspire me to send my own roots down deep into the soil of life’s endearing values…that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.
Slow me down, Lord.
May you take the prayer to heart! May we all do so!