We live in a world that tells us to go. Hurry. More. Fill the calendar. Your value is found in your tiredness. I want to say that slowing down is not only counter-cultural to the world, but I think it has also become counter-cultural in the church. In our desire to follow Jesus, we have put so much pressure on ourselves; pressure to read more, study more, tell more, commune more, be more. And while all of those things are immensely important to our relationship with our loving God, we have forgotten an amazing gift that he gave us from the beginning of time:

Rest.

Stillness. Settling in. Contentment.

In all honesty, for me, doing more meant being more for Jesus. The more I said yes, the more I did, the better I was and the more I honored God with what He had given me. I am embarrassed to say how little I trusted the power of simplicity. I can’t even remember when or why my family decided to challenge this life rhythm, but it didn’t take long to see that less really is more. More calm. More community. More power in our yes. More Jesus. More breathing. More soaking it all in.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit

Romans 15:13

Learning this new way of life wasn’t based on our efforts to simplify better (how counterintuitive), though I did try to do it my own way. I have learned over and over through my rebellion to concede that living outside of how we feel and simply choosing Jesus every time is how we have fruit in our life. Simply Jesus. Simply as He says he is. Simply how he says we are. Simply trusting him.

Through trusting him, his love, and his words, we learn to rest in him. We learn to believe that our efforts will forever be less than what he offers. We find that he can carry us and that he has built beautiful community around us to make our burden light.

Through trusting him, his love, and his words, we learn to settle into him. We learn that we can bring ourselves, in all our mess and brokenness. We learn that God is a God who sits with us, that he is our safe place.

Through trusting him, his love, and his words, we learn contentment. We honestly start believing that what he says is enough for us, actually is enough for us.

While I will never pretend to be the expert on this, I can’t help but praise God for his faithfulness in our slowing. Seeing my heart change from a person who couldn’t wait for what was next to someone who soaks in the here and now, is all thanks to Jesus. The smallest steps in slowing our pace made us long for more simplicity. Each step to more Jesus and less noise is peace-giving.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.

Isaiah 26:3

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