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Daily Devotion

The Trouble with Stopping

By Diane Markins
Guest Writer

Getting away on vacation is something most of us look forward to or at least long for, if it isn’t a reality. Taking a break from the grind of everyday life, a change of pace and slowing down can be deeply refreshing.

I’m writing this as I sit on my beachfront vacation patio. All of my senses are engaged in the quiet, over-cast morning: the briny smell and taste in the air, the rhythmic roar of the distant waves, the gray sky with a hint of sunshine sneaking up, and the chilly breeze making me consider retrieving a sweater.

I confess that, while there are just as many sights and smells at home, rarely do I give them a passing thought. They just are.

Thoroughly experiencing our surroundings is unusual and can be a strange combination of stimulation and relaxation. The problem, however, is that when we take our mind and body off auto-pilot, we have to pay attention or we’ll step in a hole, eat something bad or ignore a kind word.

But when we stop, we also begin to ponder life at home. And that can overtake every ounce of refreshment and relaxation garnered so far and needed going forth.

I’m worried about how I’ll be able to adjust to some changes when I return; specifically caring for a new grandbaby many hours each week. How will I do that and still produce a radio show and write a book?

My daughter was so delighted that her maternity leave allowed her to join us at the beach, but she’s battling her mind–which keeps dragging her back to work a week ahead of her body. How will she be able to leave this sweet little girl every day?

My husband is preoccupied with the onslaught of bad news about the economy that assaults us on TV and in the daily newspaper. How will this impact our business?

I’m doing my best to take control of those stray thoughts that plague me. Then I stop and go back to contemplating the powerful surf and the sun on my skin. God says to take every thought captive:

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

We have the ability to make a choice to enjoy life (on vacation or at our desk).

He also says to focus on today and leave tomorrow until tomorrow comes. Planning and preparing is wise and good…worrying is a waste:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

I pray that as you are able to take a break, whether it’s a two week excursion to the beach or a ten minute coffee break, you will make the disciplined choice to enjoy it. Smell the coffee, smile with your whole face, suck in air ‘til it hurts and say, “Lord, I’m so glad that even when I take a few minutes of Sabbath rest, you have tomorrow covered!”

Can you relate? What happens when you are quiet and still? Does your mind get troubled or can you truly rest?

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Diane Markins writes and speaks in a "high def, life-transforming style" about issues that impact daily living.She is the host of Women in High Def radio show, but is also a speaker and writer. She enjoys travel and has been from Mexico to Zimbabwe but always loves coming home to roost in Arizona near her family. See more of her writing at Send Diane your comments

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