One of the songs we sang today in church was one I hadn't heard before called "Slow Me Down" by the Robert Seay Band. Or perhaps, I had heard it before this morning, but I hadn't slowed down long enough to remember hearing it (I'm here all week, folks, but it really is possible, knowing me). The lyrics say:
Slow me down, O Lord
Slow me down
Help my heart to hear Your sound
Speak into my life
Lord speak now
Slow me down, O Lord
Slow me down
Psalm 46:10 is likely my favorite Bible verse. It starts off with "Be still and know that I am God...". I have often said that I have absolutely no problem with knowing He is God. In fact, I rely on God to start my day by kneeling down beside my bed (when I'm at home and not traveling for work, two Labrador Retriever heads stick their noses up against my nose as I lean up against the bed to pray.....which always starts the day off even better) every single day. My problem is the being still part. I seem to find it difficult to meditate as I know that, in order to do that properly, one needs to be able to be still. I try....I really do....
I get in a quiet spot or I even go out for a walk or sit in the backyard where there is no noise, and I get quiet...until the "sh**ty committee" (sorry, but it's true) begins their meeting in which a voice pops up, "What have you done about XYZ?" then I quiet that voice only to have another member of the committee pipe up with "Have you thought about 123?" Uggghhh!
Last night, I woke up at 1:00 a.m. I'm not sure why, but the moon sure was beautiful, and I had to take a picture of how it lit up the backyard of our beautiful new house in the hill country of Texas. Between the big oak tree, the cedars, and the pool deck, the moon was lighting up everything in glorious splendor. Now that was a quiet moment....so peaceful and serene....until I had taken a picture of said moonscape and tried to go back to sleep. That was the point at which my mind began moving through inane things like: reciting the last names of all the girls in my sorority pledge class of 1985 at Trinity University in San Antonio (Alexander, Alexander, Armstrong, Arrigo, Barr, Brooks, Cerisola, etc.). Then, even better, I began singing (to myself of course) the song Big Bird sings when he first sees the alphabet and interprets it as a complete word. "ABCDEFGHI-JKLMNOPQR-STUVWXYZ", he begins singing, "it's the most remarkable word I've ever seen. ABCDEFGHI-JKLMNOPQR-STUVWXYZ. I wish I knew exactly what I mean." Boy, at that moment, I just wish I knew what I meant by staying awake singing this little 50 year old ditty to myself (I will happily sing it for you some time; it's a catchy and fun little tune---just maybe not at 1:00 in the morning).
Sometimes, I wake up thinking about how I can help that one graduate student of mine understand how important it is to spell the word "principal" correctly if they want to become one. Sometimes, I think about what I am going to teach the next day to school administrators in Houston. But I am prepared, so there is no reason to wake up thinking about those things. Well, to be honest, it just frustrates me to no end that someone who is going to become a principal doesn't see the value in spelling their future job title correctly, but that is for another blog.
So, what is it that calms that still, small voice inside my head? My top three include:
What works for you? What are your go-tos for slowing down and feeling at peace? I'd love for you to share them with me, either by commenting on my blog itself or by commenting on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or from wherever you read my blog. Who knows? I might just slow down long enough to read your ideas and try them out myself.
Take care and happy communicating!