Posted by: Jo | February 23, 2018

Slow Down

“Be still, and know that I am God”

(Psalm 46:10)

BeStill06Being still is not something that is encouraged in today’s society, in fact the exact opposite is promoted. There is a frenzy among young people to keep moving at any cost, several of them wearing special bracelets to record how many steps they take every day and they seem to spend their waking hours constantly checking to see if they have accomplished the required steps! I was discussing this with one of my friends and she sent me a fascinating poem, written in the late 18th century by a W.H. Davies, called Stand and Stare. Here are a few lines from the poem

What is this life, if full of care

We have no time to stand and stare

No time to see when, woods we pass

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass

He points out all the beautiful parts of nature we miss by never slowing down to stop and stare and ends with this verse;

A poor life this if, full of care

We have no time to stand and stare.

BeStill07Of course, exercise is important, but if we become obsessed with it and have no time to be quiet and literally stop and stare, we may miss that small soft voice;

“Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30: 21)

Not only exercise can fill our days, countless activities, tight schedules, overworking, and with today’s youth, that ever-present smartphone in one’s hand, can take over the day.

Jesus certainly had a tight schedule and crowds were constantly following him to listen to his healing words, but he knew his human body needed a quiet time. He knew he needed rest and restoration, in John chapter 6, we read that after being constantly followed by crowds eager to hear his teaching, he realises a time of rest is needed.

“Then Jesus went up on a mountain side and sat down with his disciples.” (John 6: 3)

The following story is the famous one of the feeding of the five thousand and again Jesus realises that he needs to escape the crowds and this time he goes quietly to be by himself.

“Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.” (John 6: 15)

BeStill08Sometimes even the needs of others can intrude upon our time of being still before the Lord and of course Jesus loved the crowds deeply, but he knew that resting would restore his human body to allow him to continue his teaching. We need to remember this in our own lives.

David sums up all these thoughts so beautifully in Psalm 23 when he realises that the Lord himself encourages us to rest and be restored

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want, he makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul…” (Psalm 23: 1 – 3)


  1. My problem is not the slowing down, that comes naturally these days, but the listening. Thanks Jo for reminding me to open my ears.


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