Daily Bread August 25

Slowing Down
Betty Smith Campbell of Andover, KS, USA

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce….But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare…For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. -Jeremiah 29:4-5, 7, 11

It seems like I am always rushing to meet deadlines, usually deadlines of my own making. As I am rushing, I am so focused I don’t see the many blessings surrounding me.

It was the day my mother was coming to visit from out of town. I had just finished getting semester grades in to meet the university deadline. The morning was planned: get up early, exercise, eat breakfast, and mow the lawn-all before the plumber was scheduled to arrive.

As I was preparing to mow the lawn, I noticed there was gasoline in the mower but not much. I didn’t want to take the time to add gasoline…so on with the mowing. I had finished half the mowing. No plumber yet. I was doing great on time. As I was finishing the last loop of around the lawn, the mower just quit. Out of gasoline. But I was done!

I let out a little shout and a thank you to the Lord. Then I thought, how silly to be thankful for something I was responsible for. I looked around the yard and saw the green grass, the flowers in bloom, and the tall, beautiful trees. I felt truly blessed and at peace. I was blessed by God’s creation that I had no responsibility in making, and I felt loved!

The plumber came shortly after I finished mowing the lawn; then I went to the airport to pick up my mother. For the rest of the day I slowed down and continued to experience the feeling of peace and love.

Prayer Phrase

“… the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).

Spiritual Practice

Breathing God’s Compassion

Pay attention to your breathing and let it become calmer and deeper as you focus on God’s presence. Ask God to breathe in you. Imagine each breath carrying the light of God into your lungs, bloodstream, and every cell in your body until God’s Spirit fills you. Now imagine breathing out God’s compassion and grace each time you exhale, especially into places and situations in need of loving care. Give thanks to the Spirit, source of every breath, source of life.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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