A Slowing Exercise

Yesterday I mentioned that while we are called to labor in the vineyards, we are equally commanded to rest in the still meadows.    Meditation is one of best tools I know to practice slowing.    Today,  I invite you to join me in meditating on Psalm 23.   To begin, read this familiar passage aloud, taking time to pause between each phrase.

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

What stood out to you?  What words touched your heart?

What images do you sense in this psalm?   What emotions do you find stirred?

Often as I meditate on specific passages, the Lord reveals new insights to me about His character.  Perhaps He has shown you something new as you have read this passage.

I urge you to stop several times today and read over this passage again.  Perhaps using a different translation each time.    Allow the words and images to soak into your mind and your spirit.   Be intentional about stopping to slow your thoughts, your activity, and your spirit.

4 Replies to “A Slowing Exercise”

  1. Just this week I have “walked through the valley of the shadow of death” with a friend experiencing a miscarriage. Together, we looked at this Psalm, and the Lord reminded us that He is with us even in the shadow of death. Even when we “feel” like maybe He has overlooked our best, He says we should “fear no evil,” because He is with us. So comforting.

  2. One of my most favorite passages! And love the idea of using a different translation each time!

  3. This has been my life psalm over the past few months of struggling with insomnia, YUCK! He promises to MAKE me lie down and rest though, I keep speaking these truths to myself over and over! Love them. Have you read A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23…amazing little commentary from a shepherd himself! Thanks for the affirmation today, needed it!

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Krystal, I have been through two studies of Keller’s book … powerfully transforming for me as I began to understand the depths of a shepherd’s love and care for sheep.

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