I’ve been sorting photos today and I came across this special image.

It was taken several years back. I’d had a long day on the road, working in northern NSW. I was tired but I was back in my hotel room on my laptop. I didn’t need to be working. But as we all know it’s so easy to fall into the busyness trap in our “24-7-365 world”. Calvin Miller says busyness is “like a lion that will devour us” unless brought under control.

I knew I needed to rest. I downed tools and walked out onto the balcony, overlooking the Richmond River in Ballina. And then suddenly, here was a moment to savour. A moment of beauty, a moment of surprise, a life-giving moment that only came because I allowed myself to slow. And now I didn’t want to go anywhere in a hurry. 

When I made time to catch my breath and open my eyes here was something surprising and renewing, right in front of me!

Whenever I look at this photo in my house, I am reminded of the words of the psalmist: “God’s glory is on tour in the skies”!And more, I am reminded of my constant need to make time to slow, to open my eyes, to see more of life right before me. Be it a gorgeous sunset, the laughter of my children on the trampoline, a crashing wave, or an elderly couple at the shops, shuffling along together hand in hand. 

If you’re like me – slowing takes intentionality. And in 2023, I want to pause more, slow more and spontaneously declare more counter-cultural sabbatical moments. I want to be – and see life right in front of me. I want to be still and see more of what God is doing. I want to be joyfully surprised!