On space, silence and slowing down (and a prayer)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.  2018 got off to a rocky start in my household.  And I found myself really needing lots of space.

At first, I resisted and carried on internal arguments with myself about pushing forward with my 2018 plans even as we were dealing with some challenges.  But I eventually relented and knew it was time to focus on my family and myself and that most everything else could wait.  And so I gave myself permission to step away from everything that wasn’t absolutely mission critical for as long as I needed to get things settled here. Writing blog posts didn’t make the cut.  I just didn’t have the words.

And as February was winding down, I finally felt ready to get back to it.  Ready to resume working on some of my bigger projects.  Ready to start communicating outside my inner circle again. Ready to write and share again.

But I wondered… what I would say to you?  How to break the ice after a long silence?

And then the message I needed to share literally fell from the ceiling.

You see, our kitchen was being demo’d this week as part of our renovation project. The old plaster walls were coming down. And hidden in these old walls, the carpenters found this Prayer.

It couldn’t have been more perfect.  I am just come off a period of stress and slowing myself down to recover and regroup.  And I was feeling a bit guilty about it.  A little bit embarrassed that I hadn’t been writing and blogging and doing all those ‘business’ things we think we need to do.

And then this prayer fell out of the wall of my house (probably placed there in the late 1950’s) and I relaxed.  I let go of the judgement about the last two months and what I ‘should’ have been doing.  I realized I did exactly what I needed to do.  And that was to slow me down.

Here it is for you now (that image is hard to read!).  I hope it touches you in some way as well.

Slow me down Lord.

Ease the pounding of my heart

By the quieting of my mind.

Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.

Give me, amidst the confusion of my day

The calmness of the everlasting hills.

Break the tension of my nerves and muscles

With the soothing music of Thy singing streams that live in my memory

Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep.

Teach me the art of taking minute vacations,

Of slowing down to pat a dog, to look up at the sky.

Help me to take the time to love people,

And appreciate them;

To thank them, to compliment them;

To remember that today is the only day

I shall ever have,

And to live in the eternal now.

Let me look upward toward the branches of the towering oak,

And remember that it grew great and strong, because it grew slowly.

Remind me each day of the fable of the hare and tortoise,

That I may know that the race is not always to the swift;

And that there is more to life than increasing its speed.

Slow me down Lord and let me begin living.

I’ve done some research and while this version seems to be attributed to Orin Crain in 1957, there are several versions attributed to various authors but all stem from an ancient Hittite prayer well known in Turkey.

On this 1st day of March, I hope you find a moment to slow down just a little.  It’s good to be back.

One Response to On space, silence and slowing down (and a prayer)

  1. Kate Williams says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and this beautiful prayer, Shawn.

Post a comment

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.