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Slow Down

Isaiah35

Isaiah 35:3-10

By Lesley Powell Cooper

I woke up crabby this morning. A restless night, troubled by worries about today’s responsibilities, has left me feeling grouchy. I turn on the Christmas lights and try to read today’s Advent meditation, but I worry about getting everything done. I have to set up tables at the nursing home for my handbell choir. The Christmas cards need to be mailed. Did I remember to pay the power bill? Tonight is the last rehearsal for the children’s musical. I have to finish making the shepherds’ costumes. Our Sunday school party starts at 7:00. I need to make a squash casserole. Can we go caroling before the party?

What is the matter with me? I give up on my quiet time when the dog reminds me that she wants to go for her morning walk. Grudgingly I snap on her leash, and we head outside. The wreath has fallen off our front door. I ignore it.

The frigid gray-sky day makes me feel crabbier than ever, but suddenly the sun peeks from behind a cloud. I am warmed by its glorious heat, and it bathes my face in light as it sparkles on the puddles. Oh, God, thank you! We walk hand-in-hand, God’s sun and I. The tension in my chest begins to relax. No longer focused on myself, I notice muddy footprints marching across the street – children’s boots. A neighbor waves as he straps his toddler into the car seat. My dog perks up too. This sun isn’t just for me. We share the comfort of God’s warmth – all of us!

Thirty minutes of walking with God, and I feel like a new person. Verses 4- 7 promise that God will take care of us. Blind, crippled , deaf, mute, parched- even crabby! We all fall under God’s promise. My grumpiness simply confirms my self-centered failure to believe in that promise.

God takes care of us. During the dark midwinter days of the Advent season filled with overwhelming responsibilities, let us take the time to be warmed by God’s Son.

PRAYER:

Thank you, Lord, for the change that takes place in us when we walk with you. May we reflect Christ’s love to every­ one we encounter today. Amen.

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