My wife and girls are out of town for a week and a half (which feels like FOREVER and I’m only 4 days into it), so my life looks a lot different right now. I slept for 9 hours the other day. Haven’t done that in at least 4 months since Jenn and I had a night without the girls back in February. It had been too long. I eat out of a lot of Tupperware right now and the microwave and I have gotten reacquainted. I read a lot, work a lot, and really have a very boring existence. Apart from the extra time to read and a couple extra hours of sleep, being without my girls is really boring. But this blog isn’t about complaining.

One advantage of this temporary lifestyle has been a few opportunities to hang out with a guy from church. He’s invited me before to a Friday night Bible study he goes to in Franklin but I can never justify another night away from my family, so I’ve had to decline. On Friday night I finally got to go with him. I loved it. We ate good food and studied Deuteronomy 17 for an hour and a half. I never said one word during the Bible study. There were plenty of opportunities, but I loved just taking it all in. All I ever do in a group setting like that is talk and lead the discussion. I preach on Saturdays and Wednesdays, I lead a staff meeting on Thursdays, and if there’s a small group that meets, I often have a chance to lead the discussion there. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all of those opportunities and people. However, I had forgotten how refreshing and healthy it is for me to just sit there and take it all in. Last night we took a break before prayer and my friend leaned over to me and said, “You alright? I always get a little nervous when I bring someone and they don’t say anything.” I told him I was great and that I really enjoyed not saying anything (Someone else joked that they actually needed a few more people who didn’t talk! haha!)! Today it continues. The worship leader from Hilldale Baptist, a big church here in a Clarksville, led worship for us last night, and I’m going to go to their church service today at 11. I’m stoked to sit and listen again. Tuesday is another one. I’m heading back to Brentwood for a college gathering called Kairos where about 1,200 college-age students worship and study the Bible together.

All of this really made me think about how little I actually do slow down. I always feel like I’m in such a rush to do things and get places and accomplish tasks that sitting and listening has become a thing of the past.

Well, I’m bringing it back.

Yesterday morning I poured a cup of coffee and sat on the step of our front porch for a while. I loved it. I prayed a bit, but mainly thought and thanked God for a new day and just enjoyed the peace.

Is slowing down a challenge for you? I encourage you to give it a shot. If you’re like me, it will take some extra work to slow down and listen, but it will be worth the effort. After all, one of my favorite and yet least applied verses is Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations.”

Some of you are probably pros at this. Any suggestions for us amateur listeners?