Week 4 Day 7: Rhythm

Question: How is the pace of your life?

Write your Answer – click here

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Transcript of Video:

I was saying to a guest yesterday that since we’ve started keeping animals and gardening at Emery House that I’ve learned an enormous amount. And one of the things that fascinates me is the cycle of chickens laying eggs. A chicken can lay an egg every 25 hours, depending on the amount of sunlight it gets. A chicken needs about 14 to 16 hours of sunlight in order for the hormones to kick in to lay the egg, and so egg laying is connected to the amount of sun. And so we’ve noticed at Emery House that the production of eggs declines as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, and there are ways to alter this. We could put a light in the chicken coop and fool the chickens that it’s light 24 hours a day, and that would increase their productivity, and so they would be producing their egg every 25 hours, whether or not it was pitch black outside for 20 of those hours or not.

And I decided a couple of years ago that that didn’t seem to me to be fair to the chickens, because for some reason or other, God created them to work in this way. And if we try to artificially stimulate them to produce eggs, it’s like us artificially stimulating us to work overtime all the time. And so I think if we can take a lesson from the chickens: the chickens need a break from egg laying, and I think we need a break every once in a while. Either weekly with a Sabbath or an annual holiday or something like that, or a retreat. Just so that, as the chickens sort of recharge themselves during the slower period, so we can recharge ourselves as well.

-Br. James Koester


  1. Janet on April 9, 2019 at 19:17

    It’s so interesting to me that Br. James has referenced the chickens. My Mother grew up on a farm in very rural Minnesota. I have always been urban. But deeply instilled in my soul is the holiness of the seasons and weather. It is my point of reference, reverence, and delight. I also adjust with the amount of sunlight, temperature. I love to be out in every kind of weather.
    How is the pace? This is a good time to remark that I discovered this series “late” and jumped in to explore weeks beyond the rest of you. There is something amusing and ironic that I am rocketing through the series on time – as if keeping up with class for semester’s end. I am immersing in the videos a few at a time, throughout the day or evening, adjusting to how I am absorbing and percolating. Posting as I go in batches. Pace is relative to subject, desire, and choices to not do something else. We definitely know when we are pacing beyond what is healthy. Sometimes immersion is good, sometimes not. Sometimes we just want to do what we want to do and can. Finding the creative work alternative that allows me to manage my own rhythm after my “Pharaoh” experience is a must, there is so much in this series that resonates with me.

  2. Carney on March 30, 2019 at 08:35

    My life is well controlled at this time; however, there have been manic times that went on for years. I am working to have more order, more time for reflection, to balance reflection and productivity and then finally to just enjoy my life, family, friends and those in need. My family has a tremendous amount of diversity of life rhythms. Two badly need to slow done and take care of themselves the other two seem much more balanced – if not a little lackadaisical. The interesting thing is that those that have manic life rhythms are viewed as societal wonders and the other two while they are successful in my book, they are quite lacking when you compare CV’s (as am I). Life is interesting. It is the only one we get though. My goal is to exhibit more balance and to lead with love always. My hope is to convince my manic ones to let someone else help carry their loads and to reinforce the worth of the others.

  3. Gwedhen Nicholas on March 27, 2019 at 13:59

    I don’t work, so I can organise the pace of my life more easily than most. LIke the chickens at Emery house , I slow down in the winter and get more energy as Spring comes. I guess I could say that I follow the pace of the seasons. I am on heavy meds though, and so I need more time to rest whatever the season. I do what I am able to, and then rest.

    • Patricia on March 28, 2019 at 09:37

      I am both fortunate enough and wise enough to be a snow bird for a couple of months in the winter so I am presently in lovely sunny and warm Florida. I schedule my day to start with a brisk walk for an hour or more and an hour swim in the late afternoon. In between the various activities that keep life active and interesting are on a very loose, flexible schedule. This is truly my “break” from responsibility and duties. I return to a busy life in Ontario with new energy and a fresh aspect.

  4. Brenda on March 27, 2019 at 09:02

    Steady, busy, quiet, steady, busy, quiet!

  5. Susan on March 28, 2015 at 17:43

    Finding a “rule of life” for myself as a way of managing this question of pace is something that I have been thinking about and praying about for many years. I often seem to take on too much, somehow convincing myself that I can do it all and then having to to step back and admit that I can’t! I’m not sure if it can be sorted out once and for all, or if it is a constant negotiation. I would love to be held by a supportive “rule”.

  6. Kimber on March 19, 2015 at 16:20

    The pace of my life is really rather slow by comparison to many people around me. I don’t have children or aged parents to care for. I work only part-time. I have time for reading, singing in a chorale, and helping with church activities. I don’t have a terrible commute every day. And I can usually get a full night’s sleep. So I am blessed. Perhaps, though, looking at this another way, the pace of my life is a little too slow. I’ve often felt that I’m not giving enough to others—my secular community and the larger world. I don’t know for sure, but I’m going to try to discern whether I can and will take on something else of service.

  7. Elizabeth S on March 19, 2015 at 10:42

    We could learn a lot from the chickens! A couple of years ago we had laying hens in our backyard. They were such a pleasure to watch while they peacefully roamed around the yard munching on grass and weeds. We noticed the same about they egg production slowing down during the short days. We also noticed that they appeared to take turns having a day off. Every few weeks someone wouldn’t lay an egg for a day or two. They went to sleep at dusk every night without fail. Their work was done. They hopped up on the roost, snuggled up with each other, and went to sleep. I loved that about them. There wasn’t one chicken still awake, running around doing stuff for four hours after everyone else had gone to bed. Chicken life! I’ll take note.

  8. Lissa Davis on March 18, 2015 at 10:37

    In a word, chaos. Brother makes it clear that we should live at the pace in which we were created. This Lenten mission is helping me see where I fall shot.

  9. Susan Dredge on March 17, 2015 at 17:02

    Firstly thank you for the very interesting information about the chickens. My pace of life is now how I want it to be and not ruled by work and the clock. Saying that, I do like to be busy (but not manic) but even retirees have days when there is so much to do. I love engaging with people, volunteering, getting involved and, yes, sometimes I do think work seemed less hectic but I really enjoy what I do. I also enjoy my no-commitment days, being in my own home, enjoying time with my husband, sitting quietly and reading, contemplating and thanking God for the life He has given me. I do love Sundays and work hard at keeping them special, a quieter pace, attending church, and just being in the still.

  10. Margaret Drumm on March 17, 2015 at 11:09

    I, too, chose not to subject my chickens to artificial light. However, I do not do the same for myself. Wouldn’t the analogy for us not be observing the sabbath or taking a vacation, but following the rythym of the seasons, working longer days in summer and shorter in winter? I rely heavily on artificial light in the winter to keep my pace up.

  11. Harold Pound on March 16, 2015 at 14:10

    Being 74 and retired, my pace of life is wonderful. There are certain places I need to go three times a week. On Sundays my wife and I go to church: first to a class which is fun and then to Eucharist. Our Sundays are relaxed, sometimes we go to a movie, walk our three dogs, to just sit and relax while reading.

  12. Karen on March 16, 2015 at 12:40

    The pace of my life feels frantic, and yet I also don’t feel like I’m making the best use of my time. I work and work and work and work, and then I get exhausted, and then I feel like I lose an entire day just resting. Alternately, I make so many social plans for myself that I get exhausted, then I lose another day to rest. I would love to have a more balanced day of work, play, and rest.

  13. Terri on March 16, 2015 at 10:15

    The pace of my life is balanced with work, play and rest. Monday through Friday, I work on finding employment in the mornings and then in the afternoon I will read a bit or take a nap or watch a bit of Netflix. Saturdays tend to be a slow pace day; in the mornings, I will go to the church to set up the altar or have a very relaxing breakfast with my husband. Sunday, I am in church in the morning and then after church relax and then do my errands.

  14. David Cranmer on March 15, 2015 at 21:42

    The pace of my life is faster than I would like. But I find that as I am looking forward to retirement, I am taking more rest from my job, delaying correcting papers, etc.

  15. Sophfronia on March 15, 2015 at 17:15

    I used to be a runner of various middle-distance events when I was in high school so when I hear the word “pace” I think of running. I know that certain paces are not sustainable for longer distances. I can’t sprint for a mile for example. But I can sprint for 100 or even 200 yards. At longer distances I need to develop a more moderate pace. I think my life is very much like running. There are times when I definitely will need to sprint and sprint hard to meet a deadline or take action in an emergency. But most of the time I need to jog at a comfortable, sustainable pace. I’ll also need to walk or stop altogether. But I won’t know when to rest, walk, jog, run or sprint unless I’m listening to my life. Right now I feel l’m running fast but not sprinting. I think I need to run this way at least until Holy Week when I hope to slow down a little and listen for the approach of Easter.

  16. Dee Dee on March 14, 2015 at 22:39

    I find the pace of my life is never steady. Most days are hectic, and I find there isn’t enough time to get everything done. And then there are days when the pace is very slow, and that can bring its own form of anxiety. In many ways, I would like for my life to have more of a steady rhythym, but even that would get stale, I think. Thinking about all of these intertwined factors makes me realize that I need to see each day — with whatever it brings — as a gift. Another thing today’s post helped me see is that I have a responsibility to myself as one of God’s chickies to not keep the figurative, or the literal, light on all the time.

  17. Karen Fast on March 14, 2015 at 22:39

    The lesson from the chickens brings back wonderful childhood memories of gathering eggs on my grandparents’ farms. I did learn then that chickens lay fewer eggs in the winter, meaning that each dozen was worth more at the market. I didn’t have to work as hard in the winter either. The pace of my adult life is better than it was before I retired, but I still have some learning to do.

  18. Mark on March 14, 2015 at 19:39

    Frantic. Too much work little relaxion however to I do find to time for prayer and reading and studying The Word

  19. Patricia on March 14, 2015 at 18:45

    The pace of my life has slowed. I want to walk a bit faster, talk a bit more, sleep less, and yet I must (or feel I must) keep pace with my loved one. And yet, he still dances with me, offers to buy me flowers and is quiet in the movies. He is doing his best and I try to do my best whatever our pace may be.

  20. N on March 14, 2015 at 17:51

    Too often I fully empathize with those poor chickens under the lights. Today, thankfully, is something of a respite. Thanks be to God.

  21. Nicki on March 14, 2015 at 17:26

    Erratic. During Lent each year, there’s a leaning toward routine in my life, and I like it a lot. If I’m committed to a class or a job this happens, but just living day to day, at home, is difficult. I decided that since I went right from school to work, always working for someone else, ostensibly, I became sloppy about becoming my own boss. In retirement, in my 70s, is a late time to be forming routines.

  22. Paul on March 14, 2015 at 16:35

    One unexpected blessing that God sent into our lives nearly thirty years ago was our adopted son, and the fact (unknown to us for five years) that he has Asperger’s Syndrome. He lives with us still, and it can be and has been challenging frequently, yet he is bright, funny, curious, and in so many ways a delight to know. The biggest lesson I learned from his entering my life was to have far more patience than I had possessed prior to that time. You simply cannot rush an Aspie! He needs time to prepare, time to adjust to change. Result for me: more patience in many other relationships in my life, and more acceptance of the wonderful life that God has given me. A rhythm that I would never have expected has become my way of living (most of the time, to be honest about it!)

  23. gwedhen nicholas on March 14, 2015 at 15:35

    I have a fairly fast paced life. There always seems to be something going on – something good. But even though it’s good it’s tiring, and I am fortunate that I can have periods of rest during my business; time to relax and breathe.

  24. jane on March 14, 2015 at 15:31

    This whole series for Lent is making me realize the need to give in to rest times. Today I feel exhausted so I shall try to rest more for myself and have the intention of resting in the Lord too. I am sure that my performance will improve if I take time for rest and prayer much more.

  25. Christine white on March 14, 2015 at 15:16

    Think I should be a chicken ! My life is too scattered and paced to fast. I need to remove myself completely from everything once in awhile and just veg. I mean away from my home and work and just life. I really wish I could go to the Monastery more for short retreats. Maybe in the future.

  26. Pati on March 14, 2015 at 14:21

    My pace is getting better and better … Meaning slower and slower …..

  27. Verlinda on March 14, 2015 at 13:47

    The pace of my life seems to have 2 speeds–fast and faster. Much of this has to do with some of the concepts we’ve discussed in this past week–setting boundaries, allowing time for rest, only saying yes to those things that we feel truly called to do, etc.

    Refusing to allow myself to be manipulated (whether by myself or by others) must occur, and that refusal must be grounded in love for myself and others, leading me to take my foot off of the accelerator and live sabbath.

  28. Kenneth Knapp on March 14, 2015 at 13:06

    For the first time in many years, it is perhaps slower than I would like.

  29. Roderic Brawn on March 14, 2015 at 13:03

    The pace of my life is entirely within my control. I have some things to do in our home for other family members. These must be done at certain times. I try not to become a human-doing. It is a courageous thing to do that one would refuse to work overtime. It is a question of which god do you worship.

  30. Alison Vogel on March 14, 2015 at 12:52

    The pace of my life right now is good because of the unofficial Rule my husband and I follow. Ironically, Sundays are often the busiest with various church-related ministries. My husband teases me that it’s a work day for me. Now that I am gearing up to go back to work full time, I know that my Rule will have to change somewhat, and I am trying to not be anxious about that. I am grateful for all these Lenten reflections about our relationship with time, and I trust that my relationship with it will continue to heal as long as I remain intentional and open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

  31. Rev Tom Calhoun on March 14, 2015 at 12:45

    This week, my pace seemed rather hectic. But the need was there, and once I determined who was in the greatest need and who could help, it became manageable. Now we rest. Thanks be to God.

  32. John on March 14, 2015 at 12:20

    This answers the age-old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Clearly, we must favor the chicken!

  33. Jane on March 14, 2015 at 12:08

    retired 4 1/2 months ago. The first 6 weeks were pretty busy as I prepared for my relocation to a new home out of state. And then the next few weeks were spent unpacking and getting settled. Now I find that the pace of my life has greatly slowed and I’m now working on what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. At first I was pushing myself to consider different options and was always looking for ways to keep myself busy. It has been hard to feel like my days (and I?) are worthwhile unless they are filled with activity. But I am slowly coming to realize that there is a rhythm to this adjustment period, that I am worthwhile simply because I’m here, and the day is worthwhile simply because it’s here for me to enjoy. There’s no schedule for me to keep, no deadline to meet as I move into this next chapter of my life. All will enfold as it is meant to. And it’s okay for me to have relaxed days spending time cooking (which I love to do), reading, even “wasting” time. Eventually I’ll be directed to the right volunteer activities. I’ve already joined my church’s Friday morning “contemplative sit” where we spend time discussing a scripture from the previous Sunday’s service. It is so rewarding to have this weekly opportunity to learn!! And I know other activities for my growth, learning and service will present themselves. I just need to relax, rest, and listen. That way I won’t be too busy to see those opportunities when they do present themselves!!

  34. John on March 14, 2015 at 10:35

    Thanks be to God that my productivity and the pace of my life is not controlled by cycles of sunlight. How boring that would be! The pace of my life is much less rhythmic than the chickens’…. Somewhat in my control, but also responsive to the needs and fellowship of others.

  35. shawn on March 14, 2015 at 10:25

    p.s. Chickens also play and have a sense of humor!

    • NA on March 14, 2015 at 18:07

      They certainly do. One of ours is named The Great Hendini since she is remarkably adept at getting outside their safely enclosed run and going walkabout. 🙂

      • shawn on March 16, 2015 at 09:27

        Tee Hee! 🙂 How cute!

  36. shawn on March 14, 2015 at 10:23

    God made everything good in the first place and we keep trying to control everything to our own erroneous ways and desires and satisfactions. Boy can we mess things up! T his is a perfect example of it. Why do we have to interfere with what God created? Do we really think we can do a better job? In fact, we are destroying the job God already did…..look at the state of the earth and US for that matter.
    We are stewards….not creators. Let God be God and we be us.
    By the way, a chicken is not an “it”. He/She is an individual with feelings and dignity and honor. We should be serving them rather than the other way around for their giving of themselves for our existence.
    They should be given all the opportunity to live a full and peaceful life with their loved ones and certainly should not be taken away from their loved ones to be sold, abused and slain for the likes of us!

  37. Penny Nash on March 14, 2015 at 10:12

    I’m like a duck. I look serene as I glide along but I’m actually furiously paddling underneath. But sometimes I will let myself just float along, and it’s good.

    • Joanna. Cotter on March 16, 2015 at 19:09

      I can relate to Penney feeling like a duck , but then being able to “light out:” sit & meditate, write, ride your bike or dance up a storm-that’s a Sabbath.

  38. Dee Paine on March 14, 2015 at 10:12

    I agree that chickens should lay eggs as God intended, not as man “improves.” It’s difficult for us sometimes to slow down and listen to our bodies, but this is exactly what we must do. God made us perfectly, just as he made the chickens and all the other animals perfectly and we need to listen to that God-given awareness of what our bodies need, whether it’s food, exercise, or sleep. We are always so production driven that we intervene and take this pill or that drink to make ourselves “better,” as if we can improve on what God has given us. I am really trying to listen to the rhythm of my body and know when enough is enough.

    • NA on March 14, 2015 at 17:55

      The body has a way of speaking to us that means those unpleasant clarion calls of pain can be gifts in disguise. While we do not want to have them happen at all, it still remains that when we listen they can be perceptive teachers and agents for change.

  39. Norm Anderson on March 14, 2015 at 10:08

    The pace in my life is always a bit too fast. I have never been bored and do like to keep busy but have realized from a very early age that I am a “driven” person, like my mother was. a constant goal for me is to lessen the drivenness and give way to a slower pace, more consistent to my analytical thought process. I beleive that is what God wants for me to fully realize.

  40. Jana Everett on March 14, 2015 at 09:54

    I need more down-time–still try to be busy always–old habit so I don’t feel. Last year I took 4 months of down-time binge watching netflix etc and it unlocked an amazing amount of energy. I havent’ watched any netflix (or tv beyond daily show and news) for months.
    Today, Saturday, I am going to try to catch up with school work (meaning reading all my students online discussions and papers and commenting) and also do cleaning. Spend the day alone, as I have the church auction this evening. I will enjoy an hour of the auction and then thank goodness spend the rest of the evening doing the dishes–an hour will be enough for a party.

  41. Tracy on March 14, 2015 at 09:41

    My pace is too fast, but at least after 2 yrs of being woken up to it – I think I slightly see it now. It’s to do with confidence & rejection ie not saying ‘no’ to disappoint, but I also have natural enthusiasm & love to experience everything, just like a child. Sometimes I want to do things my way too, because I want to experience it – I want to be allowed to make mistakes. Anyway, I’m quite taken with the idea of stillness & concentration, even in the moment of the every day (thinking before speaking) – I need to be relaxed and at peace to start off with & often I can be worrying (self consumed). I need to know how & when to ‘move on’ & not linger too much on moments that haven’t gone my way or I’ve been misunderstood. So now I am finally looking at some things I need to give up, delegate or find quicker less intense ways if doing things. It’s been a long journey. I’m tired. Thank you, Brothers for your guidance – I really like the value system where work is 3rd on the agenda!

  42. Susan Zimmerman on March 14, 2015 at 09:38

    …with Spring i am sprouting my seeds…this year started 5 different species of blue hyacinths with 14+ days to germinate…one is up….along with basil, dill, yellow plum and romas…this a.m. will be pruning the grape vine which is most of the day…the pace today is hectic…will definitely relax on Sunday…

  43. Lucia S. on March 14, 2015 at 09:23

    Oh, this was a good one! I really like the idea of allowing nature to take its course along God’s original plan. I appreciate the idea that Ralph introduced – that our modern world has essentially put that artificial light on us so we will produce round the clock. I am working on allowing myself to go home at the end of the work day and not staying at work until all the work is done. I’m trying to restore the natural balance, God’s balance. I’m not 100% successful, but I’m trying.

  44. Sue on March 14, 2015 at 08:52

    One of the joys of retirement is that I can choose the pace of life. At first I still tried to be busy, because that defined my work life. Taking time to slow down and play seemed very odd! After a year, I am starting to get some balance and allowing myself unscheduled time so I can do spur of the moment things with my daughters or my grandsons.

  45. NA on March 14, 2015 at 08:45

    I make a distinction between external pace and internal pace. My external pace is what is rightfully on my plate, those tasks I need to do for daily life in work, home, farm, or community. My internal pace is all the things I think I ought to be doing or able to do, the harsh taskmaster of the “Should” list.

    If I have assessed my proper to do list and have that in reasonable order, then my external pace will be attainable, even if challenging at times. But sometimes it seems to grow and grow, like an overfed kudzu vine. When that happens, I often find that the pressure I feel is because I have put too much on this list because things have lopped over from the sneaky “Should” list. It is then that the internal pace becomes loud and demanding.

    Boundaries. It comes back to boundaries. Setting them with my list, with those around me, and most significantly, with myself. A strong sense of boundaries is what will keep the list manageable, the pace reasonable, and life doable. I will practice that today!

    • Louise Howlett on March 14, 2015 at 16:45

      I agree with this- I am getting better at setting boundaries that protect me but also protect those i work with and live with- who wants a cranky therapist or cranky wife and mother? 🙂 It is up to me to manage my life and to do that i need to make space for God to make clear my priorities. Walking and svaroopa yoga help me with that- I am obviously a kinesthetic learner!

  46. Kim on March 14, 2015 at 08:43

    We so often interfere with the natural processes of life because of our own wants or needs. It is very important for us to take time to step back and get back to basics.

  47. beth on March 14, 2015 at 08:17

    The pace of my life is very fast. My tendency is to overpack my days with work, kids stuff, chores, etc. I am in a situation, with small kids, a husband on disability, and a demanding job; where there is little margin for error. Often there is a tradeoff. For example, in order to be assigned to the projects at work that stimulate my brain and creatvity I have to work extra hours. In order to spend the most time I can with the kids I do house work after they have gone to bed. Since the year began I have been actively working to research methods to reduce stress, be more efficient, be present in whatever I’m doing at the time, etc.

  48. Barbara on March 14, 2015 at 08:00

    Now retired, my life’s pace has changed drastically; I have the luxury of quiet introspective time. Now a new pace has quickened — that towards eternity — causing me to realize that I haven’t thanked Father God adequately for consistent grace and mercy extended through earlier years. My “pace” should have made time for more true worship.

  49. Christopher Epting on March 14, 2015 at 07:54

    In semi-retirement, the pace of my life is just about right theses days, balanced between work and prayer, study and play.

  50. Judith on March 14, 2015 at 07:54

    I wonder if there’s another side to the “pace of daily life” question? I look around or listen to so many where the pace has slowed so much that there’s no purpose! Those chickens still have a purpose – I guess the key is that even when the pace slows we need balance and that sense of intention….

  51. Jeanne on March 14, 2015 at 07:50

    My life is frenetic. Sometimes I try to force it into some kind of routine, but before I know it something (not always consequential) has broken it free from the boundaries I tried to set. I would probably be better off with a 9 to 5 job (do they exist anymore?), although cramming everything else into the remaining time would be impossible. I’d have to let go of something. I need to let go of something. I’m going to walk around with images of the poor rest-deprived chicken in my head – an important reminder of what I’m doing to myself. Thank you.

  52. Christopher Engle Barnhart on March 14, 2015 at 07:46

    When my wife and I retired for working life I thought our pace of life would be reduced but it seems that it is increasing. We now have two homes, which we spend time at each week. We also have a new pickup truck with a camper which we will be using for the next few years to travel to see our daughters and grandsons as well as destinations toroughout this country. Our lives are filled with feeding the homeless once a month along with other churches and our church life is very active throughout the week.

  53. Carole on March 14, 2015 at 07:33

    Yes our lives are always on the move, rushing from one job to the next whether it is at home or at our place of work. Sometimes I feel like I have spent an entire day going from one place to another and at night I sometimes find it hard to shut my mind off. This is the time that I know I need to stop and do nothing. For me the best thing in the world for getting my ‘self’ back is to walk. I can actually ‘turn’ my mind off! and just enjoy the world around me, whether it is the ocean, trees, houses, birds or the sky. It is calming.

  54. Bobbi on March 14, 2015 at 07:33

    The pace of my life works best when I take a good hour for my morning prayer time. When I wake up and have to get going right away, I notice there is a frenzy to the pace of my entire day.

  55. Karen on March 14, 2015 at 07:17

    The pace of my life very rarely slows. And when it does, I don’t know what to do with myself, especially if silence is involved with the slowing. Sometimes I have the opportunity to slow down, but I choose to do a chore or take care of something that “needs” to be done rather than take care of myself. I know that this must change.

    • Jackie on March 14, 2015 at 08:08

      I can relate to your comments Karen. I wish for time to just sit and read a magazine or do something that would be so relaxing for me, but when I’m faced with that time, I’m hopping up and down remembering something that I need to do or should be doing. What’s wrong with us? I think when you are used to a busy pace in your life, we just don’t know how to slow down. But I’m trying. The best time for me is my morning meditations with my cup of coffee when my Husband is not yet up.

      • David Cranmer on March 15, 2015 at 21:26

        Me too!

  56. Ralph on March 14, 2015 at 07:06

    The pace of change in today’s modern world is staggering. Was it just circa 150 short years ago that we were an agricultural society, and like the chickens, we labored from sunup to sundown? Then came artificial lightening and fast forward a few short years till today where we find ourselves working 24/7.

    Technology has on so many fronts accelerated the pace of life. Where does it end?

    • NA on March 14, 2015 at 08:30

      Empowering thought: the frenetic pace technology allows, encourages, and even demands ends where we set the boundaries around us — and keep them.

      The beautiful thing about technology is that because it must have some form of power to function, we, in turn, have the power to…turn…it…off. It may be a smart phone, but it can’t plug itself back in!

      • Maria on March 14, 2015 at 18:36

        Spot on!

  57. Becky on March 14, 2015 at 06:56

    Since I’ve become an empty nester (can’t get the chickens out of my mind) the pace of my life has improved greatly. It’s really hard to slow down when you are working and parenting and managing a household and trying to care for yourself all at the same time. Most of the parents of school-aged children whom I know now are pretty frazzled. It gets better.

  58. Linda H. on March 14, 2015 at 06:50

    The pace of life is important to me and something I try to monitor. However, I overpack and overstuff the days (often with good things) but I fear my “chicken laying time” is pushed much as those chickens who live with the lights on. I would like to be more intentional with a weekly Sabbath and a quarterly retreat.

  59. Sarah Acland on March 14, 2015 at 06:45

    The pace of my life has become faster than I am. I can certainly sympathize with those chickens that are artificially light-stimulated to produce eggs as fast as possible. I expect it wears them out as fast as it does me.
    This Lent starts an effort to slow down and cast out of my life the things that are hounding me to produce more.

  60. Nancy W. Del Borgo on March 14, 2015 at 06:37

    Well said, Br. James. We must all remember the chickens!

  61. Michael on March 14, 2015 at 06:36

    Like the chickens, we too have been created in a certain manner and have our own God-given rhythm. I struggle to find my pace and the manner that works best for me, but it struck me during the brother’s talk that using some artificial means to spur us along, whether that is more money or trying to work like someone else is unfair to ourselves. I will find my pace and produce happily with God’s help and a little patience on my part.

  62. James on March 14, 2015 at 06:15

    I think that the pace of you life is really what ever you really want it to be.

  63. John David Spangler on March 14, 2015 at 06:01

    I echo wholeheartedly Julianne’s comments. Not only do I now know more about chickens, I have a better understanding of the need for quiteness. I offer this which I have adapted from the meditation by the Revd. June Nash for January 8th in “Seeking God Day by Day”:
    “Be still, and know that I am God.
    Be still, and know that I am.
    Be still, and know.
    Be still.
    By being “still” we can “be”.

  64. bob on March 14, 2015 at 05:46

    Good question. Slightly too quick is the honest answer. But it’s improving, gradually.

  65. Muriel on March 14, 2015 at 05:13

    I am for going with nature and as God ntended as much as is possible. I also did not know that fascinating fact that egg laying is connected to exposure to sunlight and was relieved to know that the chickens are given a rest from egg laying. We all need to take a real break from having to give one’s all at work and at home. I find that I am not only refreshed but eager for ‘work’ after a holiday or a true ‘sabbath’ of resting.

  66. Irene on March 13, 2015 at 21:46

    Oh, yes! Chickens are so palmary example for my own life. My pace is the same – I try to artificially stimulate me to work overtime all the time because there is so much work!
    But then more I try to excruciate me then more chaose in my life…
    At the morning meditation I tried to list my today’s work and duties. And again I see how much work and how I’m pressed for time!
    I need remember that my vacation to be with God during the day but not laying the eggs.
    Thank you, Brothers! 🙂

    • Mimi on March 14, 2015 at 09:47

      A friend taught me a trick when my children were young…to make my to do list, but not make it the list for the day. Make it a list for the week, or even better, just to do whenever. Choose the one or two things that are most needed to be done (or one needed and one desired) to accomplish that day. It greatly reduces stress of the to do list. Sometimes more than the one or two things can be accomplished, but they become icing on the cake. I know this is not practical for everyone in every situation, but an approach to ponder.

      • Tom on March 15, 2015 at 07:19

        My “to do” list on my electronic device is a tyranny in my life. Each day the list of oh-so-important-I-must-get-these-done-today items is way too long for any mere human, and so those items fall off the list for the next day … and the next … and the next. With each passing day, the tension due to what I’m not getting done grows greater, without the self-congratulations for what I have accomplished. THANK YOU for this idea of simply a list. What gets done, gets done, and that is enough for the day. And writing this on paper, so I see those crossed-off items of accomplishment, is important.

  67. Julianne Stewart on March 13, 2015 at 16:18

    Thank you, Brothers. As always your wisdom is spot on. I hadn’t realised that fact about chickens. Humans have intervened so much and for so long in re-ordering the lives of animals that most of us wouldn’t know what is natural and God-given. I guess it is the same for us too. We have forced ourselves into noisy, busy cities and demanding jobs and always-on communication, that for many of us it is hard to realise the value of what a Sabbath or even a night of rest can bring.

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