I confess… I have a hard time slowing down. I like to be busy. I like to have tasks to accomplish and things to check off a list. It has taken a lot of work over the years to come to a point where I can truly slow down and just simply take in what is around me and not want to hurry through to the next thing on my list for the day. I wish I could say that this slowing down was a consistent thing for me, but it isn’t. I still like to be efficient, to see how much I can get in during a day, etc. But I’m getting there and I’m a lot further along than I used to be.
Psalm 84 spoke to me this morning of that sense of slowing down. It is a Psalm that sings of taking in the things of God, especially the temple, the dwelling place of God. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord…my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. The Psalm continues in this sense. As I read it, I get the feeling of someone coming into that place they have been longing for and their shoulders relax, a deep breath is let out, a release comes because they know they are in that place they need to be at that moment and it is time to take it all in.
The other morning as I was out with my dog, we walked by a house in our neighborhood who has one of those low walls along the side of the yard. Someone had left a pile of petals on the wall. I took a few shots of just the petals on the stone as I thought it was a beautiful contrast and then my dog came over and started sniffing at them. But she wasn’t just sniffing, but she was gently blowing them – she would blow out with her nose and see the petals move around and then she’d move a bit and do it again. She did this for a few minutes – very gently but deliberately. That was a moment to just take in – to enjoy what my dog was doing, to see the fun she was having with it. To take it in.