Slow down without feeling guilty about it

Ashley Dansereau

In February of 2017,  I hit a parked car while leaving my favorite home decor store. My 6-month-old son was still sleeping in the back as I looked in the rearview mirror and assessed the damage. My focus wasn’t on driving, and it resulted in a collision. 

I had too much going on, to say the least. 

When something isn’t a priority, we lose focus and experience the consequences. This principle holds true in all sorts of circumstances — including our spiritual lives. 

In that same season, creating a specific time in my day to slow down, meditate, and prepare myself mentally and spiritually didn’t just happen because of my overscheduled lifestyle. It wasn’t my priority.  

Understanding how brief life can be has a way of putting things in priority. 

Looking back, I can’t help but wonder if Christ allowed me to become so full of myself to help me realize how little control I had. I only have one life to live and it will be a complete waste if I spent my time, effort, and talent fulfilling an overstuffed schedule. 

Psalm 90:12 asks God to help us realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Understanding how brief life can be has a way of putting things in priority. By allowing ourselves to slow down, we’re not missing out. We’re filling up on what matters most. 

“Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives” (Psalm 90:14).

 Four Benefits of Daily Time with God

1. Joy 

Joy is more than being happy. It’s having extreme delight and a sense of well-being. I’ve wanted to feel effortlessly happy, but this is real life we’re talking about. 

We don’t always wake up happy. But starting the day with God reminds us who we are and how much He loves us. God loves us so much He sent His Son to us. When the angels announced Jesus’ birth, they said, “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10).

Jesus made a way for us to be connected to our heavenly Father. And Jesus is in the process of setting things right forever. When we start the day with that in mind, we can’t help but experience delight and well-being. 

2. Friendships

I never knew that setting aside a time to pray and read Scripture each day would open the doors for me to make new friends. Friendships I never thought I would experience in my adult life. But Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:8 that “your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

God knew exactly who I needed and exactly when to send them into my life. If I was too full of myself and occupied by the tasks on my plate, that never would have happened. I would have been too busy to seize the opportunity to invest in others and let them invest in me.  

3. Peace

There will always be something or someone to worry about. However, I don’t have to live in the bondage my anxieties caused me over things I can’t control. 

Colossians 3:15 says to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts and to be thankful. The more I give to God the freer I feel from those concerns. (He’s the only one that can change the outcomes anyway.) Plus, the more I give to God the more aware I am of Him working in my life and the more aware I am of how much I have to be thankful for.

The closer I am to Jesus, the better person I am from the inside out. 

4. Energy

Living in Jesus’ love is not only freeing — it’s exciting! I find myself getting more done and staying more motivated throughout the day knowing that I’m on the winning side. My coach is God Almighty, and I have direct access to Him whenever I need a hand. 

It’s an awesome wonder to have a relationship with Jesus, and it’s not something I would trade for the world. The closer I am to Jesus, the better person I am from the inside out. By making time to talk with Him and asking Him how I can serve others, I am presented with unique opportunities that I wouldn’t typically have. 

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