Nurture Your Soul – Summer Devotions Series
Take Your Time
by Cara McLauchlan
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” — Eddie Cantor
“Let’s take our time,” my brother said to me recently.
We were beginning a walk across a nearby meadow that bordered his home in Oxford, England. In my head, I was mentally putting together an agenda of all the things we were going to do and see that day. Walking was only the transportation, it was not the focus. I was looking forward to the exercise; he was looking forward to savoring the moment.
We followed a path that bordered the Thames River. The beauty of the Thames is quite stunning and holds a rich history. Claude Monet was said to have painted it four times. Kenneth Grahame, children’s author of one of my favorite books, Wind in the Willows was thought to have drawn much of his inspiration from the Thames. Kings and queens throughout history have enjoyed floats on it, gloriously parading on royal barges. This is not your ordinary river.
As we continued along the path, bicyclists cheerily zoomed by, my son and his cousins skipped rocks, chased lizards, and spotted bunnies munching in the bluffs. My brother and I walked slowly, then rested below a blooming tree to take in the splendor. The day felt almost storybook-like. It is exactly what you would imagine as a perfect English day. My brother shared that the summer weather in England is a rare treasure. Sometimes they only get a week of truly lovely days. He wanted to be sure we did not miss it.
Yet, I did almost miss it. In my hurry up, go-go, rush along mindset, I was thinking about accomplishing. I would not have seen it meaningfully if we had not decided to take our time, to go slowly. What else had I been missing because I was caught up in productivity instead of beauty?
Hearing the words “take your time” was my invitation to take a deep breath, step out of the fast lane mindset. Truly, it meant accepting that this moment was enough on its own. It reminded me to do life with care, thoughtfully, musing over the details and God’s good gifts. Most of my days are spent as an exercise in speed. Dinner on the fly, wedging in a quick workout, running errands in the tiny spare spaces in the day.
Summer is the perfect season to take your time. To read a good book slowly, to make dinner mindfully while noticing the smells and textures, to stop in the midst of it all to take in the glory of a field. Do not miss your lovely summer—savor it today. Life does not always have to be a mad dash—it can be a meandering stroll through a meadow. Take your time today and see what surprises you.
When was the last time you took your time?
1. Read Jeremiah 2:25
The Message (MSG)
25 “Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? But you say, ‘I can’t help it. I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.’”
2. Read Psalm 65:9-13
Think about where you need to slow down and savor.
This week, set aside a day or an activity where you will deliberately go slowly, take your time, no rushing. See what surprises and delights you.
I want to live according to Your will and Your pace for my life.
Show me where I need to slow down.
Show me where I need to surrender the need to accomplish, keep up, be productive.
Reveal Your wonder to me in surprising ways this week, as I take time to see more of You in my midst.
Thank You for the generosity You display with summer’s bounty.
I will look for more of You today, as I slowly and purposely discover Your gifts everywhere I look.