SLOW DOWN, NOTICE MORE…

As I write this, it is July 1, 2020. I am writing from a big dining table, looking over a peaceful cove on Lake Burton in North Georgia. I have been coming to this place for over 20 years and it has always been a place to relax and to refresh. Lake Burton is one of the most beautiful lakes in Georgia. It is peaceful respite that sits in the middle of the mountains. I struggle finding ways to slow down the pace and my rhythm of my life, and the lake has been a place that helps me unwind and recalibrate.

The drive to the lake is beautiful. It takes us down and around winding mountain roads. There are old homes we pass that we recognize and enjoy seeing how they have changed. There is an old brick house that my wife loves. It sits at an intersection of 2 mountain highways and always has a beautiful garden. There is a place off the road to buy local vegetables that has delicious strawberry milkshakes. But almost every time we make that trip, we notice something we haven’t noticed before.

The slower pace allows us to notice things we haven’t before. It gives our senses a fresh opportunity for new beauty and better perspective. And to be honest, a fresh perspective is what my reluctant soul has needed. Here is what I am learning:

When I slow down, I notice so much more.

I’ve been studying the goodness of God and leaning into the places where He often displays His goodness. I have been reading the Scriptures that teach and show the goodness of God to His people. His goodness is not something He gives, it’s who He is. In times of hurry and hustle, I am looking for goodness in the midst of the chaos. In times of patience, I am noticing the goodness of God in the simple, everyday blessings He has given me.

When I slow down, I notice so much more.

This week, I am spending time with my family. I have enjoyed unhurried fellowship with my kids. We played in the pool and shared meals together. I was able to help my mom in her kitchen preparing meals and enjoying conversations around her table. I was able to spend time with my dad talking about life, business, ministry, and the different projects we are both working on. I was able to go with my brother as he serves people through his company, and share our secrets for making great barbecue. It was life-giving and soul-healing. It was unhurried and restful. And in the slow down, I recognized that it was a magnificent display of the goodness of God.

It is easy on our search for the greater goodness of God to overlook the simple goodness He has already shown us.

I know that God is good; it is an aspect of His perfect character. I know He wants me to experience His goodness, and He can show that goodness to me any way He chooses. But for such a time as this, He is allowing me to see His goodness in the simple, everyday blessings of family. He is reminding me that His goodness is always near me because I can see aspects of His character in those He has given me to love. My prayer in these moments is that God would help my heart to slow down so that I can cherish each moment of goodness He has gifted to me.

One day, when our kids are grown and experiencing God’s goodness with their own lives and families, maybe Kerrie and I will slow down for good in that beautiful brick house on the corner.

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