Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Slow me down

Song: By Robbie Seay

Our prayer as we begin 2012 is exactly this. 
(Troy has declared this our 2012 theme song.)

 Slow us down Lord, slow us down. 

 Help my heart to hear your sound.

Speak into my life Lord speak now.

Slow me down oh Lord, slow me down.

Clear my mind. Bring me peace that I cannot find.

Take my worthy thoughts, break my pride.

Clear my mind, oh Lord, clear my mind.

Wake my soul oh Lord, wake my soul...

  .... Of this life called mine, take control. 

There are so many things we cannot control. Haiti brings a fresh intense adventure almost every week. Things change fast. We cannot slow down that aspect of our lives.  We need desperately to be constantly sensitive and open to what God may have for us in any given unpredictable situation.

Our kids are our greatest joy in life. They are at such fun ages, every last one of them. We cannot control how fast they are growing or slow them down very easily. Try as we may they cannot be convinced to dial it back a little bit and stay right where they are for the sake of their parents' happiness. We beseech Him to help our hearts hear His sound regarding our precious little people.

We're entering into new things this year - it is difficult to "slow down" as we are starting new things and taking on new tasks.  When we're honest we admit fear sometimes creeps in surrounding the new and unknown. We pray He clears our minds and brings peace we cannot always find.

We have realized that we are people that struggle to slow down much of the time.  We're cognizant that our busy, busy, busy keeps us from really listening and communing with God.

We're asking Him, "slow us down Lord, slow us down".   

As we talked about these things during our vacation, we realized that something has to give if we're ever going to truly be able to slow down and allow our hearts to hear His sound.  The noise and the busy and the kids and the needs around us ... All of it threatens to drown out His voice, to muffle His presence in our lives.

We're working on some ways to create space and do better, to slow down in an intentional way.  Mostly we know slowing down has to happen in our heads and hearts first.

One thing we've come to realize is that we desperately need to reduce the amount of time we spend on on-line correspondence.

We love being able to keep up with friends via facebook. Knowing what my friends are up to makes me feel closer to them even though many miles separate us. I love the connection to them. We enjoy making new connections and building relationships (however authentic they can be when only on-line which is debatable) and meeting new people through correspondence surrounding the topic of Haiti.

All of that remains true, but we can't spend as much time entering into those activities if we truly want to slow down.  We spend way too much time on those things. It is filling our lives with noise and keeping us from slowing down. We sometimes (okay, almost always for me) give high priority to answering inquiries we receive via email and facebook message.  I have always felt like it is my duty to answer any and all messages.  I'm not sure that is actually true.  I think maybe some twisted pride is what leads me to see it that way. The  truth is many times I have chosen to answer the questions of a stranger about Haiti or some other random topic over doing things that are so much more important. I've prioritized incorrectly.

This is the apology in advance for the emails I don't and won't be able to answer.  In the coming weeks and months we are going to try to add to the 'frequently asked questions'.  Over time hopefully we can address many of the emailed questions here on the blog.  I'm allowing a small amount of time each day for correspondence, what I cannot finish won't be allowed to nag me or plague me anymore.  I'm slowing down. For my spiritual health and for my family I need to do this.

When I asked Troy after a long unpredictable Monday,  "How do we actually do this? Slowing down feels impossible.",  he said "It has to be our state of mind first."

I'm not thinking we're alone in struggling to figure out how to balance things well. I'm sure I'm not the only person spending more time than I think is healthy on the internet. I am hopeful that these words of Robbie's song can become a constant prayer of ours this year and that we succeed at making change that allow for our hearts to frequently hear His sound.

Slow me down Lord, slow me down 
Help my heart to hear your sound 
Speak into my life speak now