While Gearing up for Fall, Take Time to Slow Down3 min read

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!” (Psalm 39:4–6).

Today is a gift; that’s why it’s called the present. So many people believe that, no matter what, everyone should take time to enjoy the present. People should slow down, stop and smell the roses. One man has taken this to the extreme: Jedidiah Jenkins, a man now in his mid-30’s, quit his job in 2015 to ride his bike from Oregon to Patagonia over a period of 16 months. He has written a book about the journey (To Shake the Sleeping Self), and he has published a video entitled, “The Thousand-Year Journey” documenting his trip. And why did Jedidiah do this, you may ask? His words say it all: “The routine is the enemy.” Jedidiah was worried that he would get so caught up in his routine that years would pass by in his life without him noticing. In fact, he knew many people who had already experienced that phenomenon for themselves.

I have to agree with his worry in part. It’s easy to get into a routine that makes time fly by, only to realize months or years later that so much time passed in what seemed like an instant. If we’re not careful, the things that we do every day may distract us, leaving little to no time to slow down and unwind.

We need time to slow down. This is when we recharge and rejuvenate ourselves to continue on in life. For Christians, this comes from worship. Too often, we find ourselves packing our schedules with activities and events that, before long, take up all our time. Then we have to make decisions. So what if I skip devotions today? Does it matter? What’s the harm in missing church one week? One month? Two months? Then, before we know it, our daily “routine” has shut out our chance to hear God’s Word at all.

Psalm 39 gives a strong exhortation. Our life is fleeting. We do not know the number of days we have on earth. In earnest, then, we pray that God reminds us how fleeting our lives are, so that we will not delay to slow down and unwind in worship, devotion, and prayer with God in heaven. We are not called to heap up treasures on earth, but to give thanks to the one who gives us life. So slow down; take time to spend with the Lord in prayer this day, so that when you go back to your routine you will be ready to serve God, fully aware of His blessings around you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are the Alpha and the Omega, and I stand as a mere speck of mortal life. May I never delay to seek Your Word, and may my desire be to step out of my routine and spend time in fellowship with You, so that Your blessings may be made known to me in abundance. Grant this for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Photo by ~Userc0373230_9

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About the Author

Rev. Alex Hoffmeyer graduated with an M.Div. from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. in May 2017, and has been blessed to serve Salem Lutheran Church in Coloma, Mich. He, his wife Leah, and their daughter Harper continue to enjoy Pure Michigan whenever they can, taking chances to explore God's Creation on the trails, the bluffs, and the beaches.

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