Building Margin to Reduce Stress – Week 2, Day 1

IMG_2239 - Version 2

Daily Scripture Reading: Read John 11:1-44

vs. 6 – “After having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”

vs. 21-22 – “Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ ”

 I don’t think I’ve ever read of Jesus running through the desert, saying, “Hurry up, John! Get moving, Peter! You disciples are so slow! We’ve got places to go, people to see!” Jesus certainly traveled throughout the land but he was intentional about when and where he was going.

When Jesus got word that his friend, Lazarus, was sick, he didn’t rush to his bedside. He stayed in his present location for 2 more days. Sister Martha was not happy. Why did Jesus not rush to his friend? The Bible does not say but I like to think that Jesus was doing something important in his location. He was fully present there.

Rush Slowly, these words on a sign hanging in a restaurant in the southern-most tip of the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, sum up the pace that Jesus seemed to keep in the scripture. He went where he was needed but he traveled at the pace that kept him fully present wherever he was.

Maybe we could all ‘rush’ a little more slowly. How present are we with the people we encounter? With our families and friends? How present are we with the people at work or at school? Are we talking to someone, but in our mind, we’ve already moved on?

Prayer:Reach down inside me now, O God, and change the gears that race and roar. In place of turmoil give me peace. In place of frenzy give me patience. Then I shall be more like Jesus, who taught us to make room for you in our hectic days. Teach me, God, to make room for you in all the events and affairs of my days. Then I shall find rest. Then I will be at peace with myself and with you.”   Amen *

Reflection Question for the Day:

What one action can you take to slow down and be fully present?

Examples:   Physically walk slower. Look at people when you are talking to them.

*Prayer written by Norman Shawchuck, pages 342-343.  A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2003.

Devotion from Building Margin for a Balanced Life, devotional book, small group study and sermon series

©Tim Reaves and Trish Archer

All rights reserved

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