After removing a stuffed diaper bag and two plastic grocery bags from the car, the woman held out her hand for the toddler to grab. Hanging on to the woman beside her, the toddler, wearing white summer sandals, took baby sized steps along the sidewalk toward the house. Though burdened with bags, one over her shoulder and the others slapping against her leg, the woman neither rushed nor took strides that made it impossible for the child to match. Setting her pace with the child's, she and the toddler made slow steady progress to the porch, up the steps and in the door.
The following is a version of the 23rd Psalm, from Japan. It may be familiar to some; for me, it is a beautiful reminder of how I might approach each day.
The Lord is my pace setter...I shall not rush
He makes me stop for quiet intervals
He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity
He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind
and his guidance is peace
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is here
His timeliness, His all importance will keep me in balance
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity
by annointing my mind with His oil of tranquillity
My cup of joyous energy overflows
Truly harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours
For I shall walk in the pace of my Lord
And dwell in His house forever.
For many, summer time offers a slower pace, a less hectic and rushed schedule. For whatever reason, we're oftentimes more mindful of our surroundings, and the goodness that we receive when we take time to notice.
How good it is to allow The Lord to be the pace setter. To be so mindful of His presence, that our "baby-steps" on life's journey don't seem a hindrance, but a joy that allows us to experience fully, His House.
I pray that we all delight in the wonders, experiences, conversations and discoveries that come from a slower pace; that with restored serenity we more clearly see our gifts and talents and can use them for the welfare of God's people and to His glory; that harmony and effectiveness are the fruits of our hours.