Slow me down, Lord!
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time...
Do you feel it yet? The seasonal rush, the demands of being several places at once, the near-panic of thinking you've got more to do than time allows.
Will I get the presents bought and wrapped, the house decorated, the guests prepared for, the cards sent, the parties attended?
Will I meet the expectations of others, or will I fall short in some way? Will I feel warm and whole in these days, or cold, spent and shallow?
Give me, amidst the confusion of my day,
The calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves
With the soothing music of the singing streams
That live in my memory...
It's The Holidays - literally, holy days. Days that are supposed to be life-enriching times of faith, fun and fellowship. That long stretch from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day that we all in theory look forward to but that so often turns us into a frazzled, stress-ridden state.
Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift;
That there is more to life than increasing its speed...
The adrenaline is pumping, right? Or if it's not, you know it needs to get going soon. So many things to get done, so little time.
Sure, there are two and a half weeks until Christmas Day. If you push hard enough, if you make every spare minute count, you can get it all done. Your own health and well-being? Forget it. You've got things to do.
There's really no time this time of the year for prayer and introspection, for reflecting on what is to come - the Incarnation, Emmanuel, God with us.
Let me look to the towering oak
And know that it grew great and strong
Because it grew slowly and well. (Orin L. Crain)
More to life than increasing its speed? Well, maybe, but speed this time of year is essential ... isn't it?
How do we know if we've never tried it any other way?