Is it just me, or do you also find that the more outwardly busy you become, the more your thoughts tend to spiral out of control? It’s as if we try to get a handle on our lives by mentally processing and digesting stuff, so that we can sort and sift what to retain or ditch.
And in doing this we also hope to wrestle with our worries, and maybe even banish them, forgetting how giving our concerns a lot of head space usually achieves the opposite effect, making them multiply instead.
Finding (and maintaining) a calm core to our days in the midst of life’s busyness, storms and demands, calls for awareness, deliberation and decisiveness. It requires us to still ourselves body and soul and to pause long enough to listen to what our life, and God, is saying to us.
I find that prayer, especially of the centering kind, is a marvellous and needful pause during life’s busyness. It helps me to remember to breathe… and yield my cares to God, leading to a deeper soul peace. Though it can often get sidelined when I’m feeling overwhelmed by extra demands being made of me, as the five-minute-friday poem below suggests.
Time to breathe
I wonder, is there time to breathe?
Yes says the flourishing flower stretching
her growing beauty out of tiny seed
The race is not to the swift, nor
battle to the strong, but to those who
learn to wait patiently—enduring long
Yet I take such small, sharp, shallow breaths
and I sense a tight constriction
within my chest. For it seems that I
have somehow forgotten how to breathe
in synchrony with life’s rhythms
or go gently into each season
Instead, I mentally rush headlong
into each day, barely pausing to breathe
or pray, pushing a body so fatigued
and sore to do Just One Thing More
And it’s no wonder I feel all out of
sorts, stressed and harassed, of course
Because I’ve forgotten to stop and sit
with stillness, or simply stay in tune
with Holy Spirit—and calmly rest myself
in Him, rather than in my easily
exhaustible, all too human limits
I think I should have heeded the words I wrote here last week about feeling out of control and needing to breathe!
But I’m glad I listened to inspiration coming, so I could share my thoughts with the fabulous #FMF writing crew gathering over at Kate Motaung’s site to write about this week’s prompt of ‘breathe’. Come join us?