If you could once make up your mind never to undertake more work... than you can carry on calmly, quietly, without hurry or flurry... and if the instant you feel yourself growing nervous and... out of breath, you would stop and take breath, you would find this common-sense rule doing for you what no prayer or tears could ever accomplish.
- Elizabeth Prentiss 1818-1878
For the past decade, this quote has guided me as a faithful reminder to do things without worry or haste, leaving everything in God’s time. If it is true that God is in control, it is his responsibility to give us enough time for the tasks he has chosen.
Another aha moment came recently when I read Luke 11:9-10: “Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light." Our path is less clear and more dangerous when we extend our day beyond what God asks of us.
Sometimes we could do more by doing less. When we are exhausted, over-booked, and stressed, our lives don’t function at maximum capacity. Taking a break to think about the beauty of the world, as well as ranking task priorities, might be the key to creativity and well-being.
Many of us feel harassed by what we schedule for ourselves. But if Jesus did everything he was called to do in 12 hours, why are we putting in 16 or 18, between family, church, and jobs? Do we have more to do than he?
Websites such as www.slowfood.com and http://zenhabits.net offer ideas from a secular viewpoint about slowing down to enjoy the life we have been given.
*May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May He be your help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.
May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests. Psalm 20:1-5 NIV
*I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will continually be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:1-4 NIV
This post was originally written in August, 2009.