A Prayer to Slow Down This Summer - Your Daily Prayer - July 8

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A Prayer to Slow Down This Summer
By Laura Bailey

“This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.” - Ecclesiastes 5:18 NIV

Have you ever heard of the term 'Maycemeber '? It's a recent phenomenon in which the end of the school year has become just as hectic as the Christmas season. A friend shared this revelation, and it struck a chord with me. I could easily relate as I replayed last night’s softball game, which we almost missed because we had dance rehearsal, where a group of moms compared battle plans to survive the next few weeks. As the end of the school year gives way to summer, our calendars should be lighter, right? The programs, parties, and last-minute “Mom, I was supposed to dress up as a lobster today, oh and bring a three-tiered cake” is enough to exhaust even the most Pinterest-prepared mom. I might have exaggerated slightly with my illustration above, but it’s not far from our last few weeks.

As my legs bounced up and down cautiously, I ventured a peek at my calendar for the next few months. Already, I saw the series of blocked-out squares, highlighted notes, and penciled-in bookings. Our calendar bubbled over with good things, but the upcoming commitments made me weary. I’d blocked off a week for my daughter to go to summer camp, an annual retreat with her best friend, to learn and grow in Christ. Multiple weekends were reserved for friends and family members to catch up and celebrate birthdays and holidays. For the first two weeks of summer, our family is traveling to explore one of God’s beautiful creations, The Grand Canyon, and spend quality time together. And then there’s Vacation Bible School, Serve Week at our Church, various play dates, mini camps, and Summer Reading. 

As I pondered the next few months, I wondered how we know the best ways to invest our time and resources in a world with countless opportunities. The teacher, whom many believe is Solomon, gives us insight into how to triage time, saying no to the lesser things so we can save room for the greater things. 

Ecclesiastes 5:18, “This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.”  

Solomon, reflecting on his very full life, who sometimes walked in the ways of the Lord and other times chose the path of distraction and destruction, reminds us of what’s important. Many don’t choose between bad and good things; most decisions benefit our lives and others. But we are finite creatures; our physical and spiritual bodies and souls need rest. That means there are times when we will have to say, “No, not this time,” to protect ourselves from burnout, breakdown, or emotional and mental depletion. As a recovering people-pleaser, I understand this is a hard task. However, when we examine every opportunity through the lens of eternity, asking, “Does this have lasting significance?” that changes our commitments. 

There are seasons in life when we don’t have a choice where we spend our time; we crave a slower pace, but it’s not an option: the mom of a newborn, the daughter of an aging parent, the brother helping the family deal with a crisis. If you find yourself in this season, I pray for strength. But, if you are trying to juggle your “yes” this summer, might I encourage you, as I encourage myself, to heed Solomon’s words and slow down? Take time to rest, restore, and relax. Prioritize family meals around the table, slow Saturday morning coffee on your back porch bird watching, and make space for friends to hang out and enjoy God’s good gift of companionship as we find our satisfaction in the Lord and His blessings.

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to gather, celebrate, work, and serve. We know that having the option to choose where we spend our time is a luxury; let us never take that for granted. Guide us as we make our plans, holding them loosely and leaving room for rest. We ask for discernment, prioritizing the eternal over the earthly. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/piola666

Laura Bailey headshotLaura Bailey is a Bible teacher who challenges and encourages women to dive deep in the Scriptures, shift from an earthly to an eternal mindset, and filter life through the lens of God’s Word. She is the author of Beyond the Noise, and loves any opportunity to speak and teach women of all ages. She is a wife and momma to three young girls. Connect with her on her website,  www.LauraRBailey.com, Facebook and Instagram.

Related Resource: Remember God's Enduring Love for You in this Guided Meditation on Psalm 100!

This guided Christian meditation from Psalm 100 will help you experience and praise God for his unending love for you. Become aware of God’s presence with you, and praise God for his loyal and enduring love from the beginning of time and into the future. Listen to every episode of the So Much More Podcast on LifeAudio.com, or subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode!

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