slow me down, Lord

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image via Pixabay CC0

Give me, amid the confusion of the day,
the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions
of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music
of the singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical,
restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations-
of slowing down to look at a flower,
to chat with a friend, to pat a dog,
to read a few lines from a good book.

Remind me each day
of the fable of the hare and the tortoise,
that I may know
that the race is not always to the swift-
there is more to life than increasing speed.
Let me look upward
into the branches of the towering oak and know
that it grew slowly and well.

Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send
my roots deep in the soil of life’s enduring values
that I may grow towards the stars
of my greater destiny.

Richard Cushing, 1895 – 1970, American Catholic Archbishop and Cardinal

________________

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

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