This weekend I walked in the damp Pennsylvania woods while the wind rustled the branches and the leaves surrendered drops of captive rainwater. Tink, shh, woo, tink. Maple, dogwood, oak, and beach, all letting go of their holdings, adding to the colorful canvas on the floor of the woods. I drew near to God who created these trees as I stared in silence.
More than 25 years ago I wandered these woods—lost and searching, not knowing what my heart ached and grasped for. The golden hues of the Maple tree whispered something of majesty and I wondered, “Does God exist? And if He does, I want to know Him.”
Looking back over more than two decades of following Jesus, I see times when I simply just lived. Rushing from one “important” thing to the next—barely breathing, let alone wondering at the hue of the golden maple—or leaning in to recognize God’s whisper through the rustling of the leaves.
Are you rushing this Fall? Here is one simple thing we can do to draw closer to God.
Okay, okay. You might laugh at this, but I’m serious.
Let’s stop rushing and start walking.
I’m not talking about taking to the streets instead of driving your car—I’m talking about throttling back our speed of how we live the moments of our day.
I’m talking about slowing down our hearts and minds right where we are—so we can talk with God as we do whatever it is we do. It may mean cutting out some social media time—or saying no to some cock-eyed super mama ideal. But moms, God has much more to offer us than drive-through spirituality.
When we slow down:
- We recognize God’s presence in the ordinary, like kids giggling and shadows at sunset.
- We tenderize our hearts toward prayerfulness.
- We observe those around us and their need for God.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
When we slow down we can observe God at work on our lives and in those around us. We begin to hunger for more of Him and find time, albeit often in thred-like margins—to read the Word, reflect, and pray. Developing our relationship with God becomes a natural outflow of slow.
One way I am choosing to walk this Fall so I can draw near:
- Keeping our family commitments outside of the home to a minimum.
- Praying as I am going. I call it “Observe and Serve”. Just simply seeing what is around me, praying as I go, and doing what the Spirit prompts my heart to do. Mostly it is just the normal stuff—like pulling up my son’s pants after potty ’cause the button is stuck.
No matter our activities, we all can choose to walk instead of race—and our walks with God will benefit.
Father, God. I want to draw near to You, but I don’t know how to clear my mind or my schedule. I desire to know You and to see You—to hear Your still small voice and to know Your Word. Oh, God. Help me to see where I can walk instead of race so I can lean into You instead of my own checklist and strength. AMEN.
Question:What is one practical way you can walk instead of race this week in order to draw closer to God in your daily life? To leave a comment, just click here.