Last week I talked about learning to be still, quieting our inner and outer world in order to listen for God’s Presence. This week, I want to talk about savoring–like savoring a scrumptious piece of expensive chocolate or delighting in soaking in a hot tub with bubbles and candles and maybe some chocolate, too. To savor, you must slow down. You can’t rush. If you do, the savoring experience is lost.

I don’t think I’m the only one struggling with stress these days. I think our American culture has become time sick. Our lives have turned into an exercise in hurry. We try to pack as much as we can into every minute of every day. Even when I walk my dog, I’m urging her to hurry up and do her business. But what is living at warp speed costing us?

Doctor’s offices are packed with people suffering from the conditions brought on by stress:  insomnia, migraines, hypertension, asthma and gastrointestinal trouble.

Burnout used to be something that we mainly found in people over forty, but now people in their 30’s and 20’s are complaining of burnout. In addition, we’re not sleeping enough. The average American gets 90 minutes less sleep per night than 100 years ago.  Why? Because we tell ourselves we can get more done if we stay up late and get up early. People who slow us down become the enemy; they’re in our way of getting more done.

We live under an enormous lie that busyness means that we’re doing something important. We tell ourselves that if we’re busy, we must be having a meaningful life. But when you take the time to slow down, you realize it’s an illusion and it’s costing us. We’re doing more but enjoying it less. Our frenzied doing has robbed us of our being.

God has intended that we experience him and one way we can do so is through slowing down and savoring his creation. The psalmist says that “The heavens declare the glory of God,” and the apostle Paul reminds us that we can know God by observing the natural world. (Romans 1:19,20). But we’re too busy to pay attention.

A while back, I was rushing around as usual trying to get things done, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed the sun going down. My husband and I are blessed to have a deck off our home that faces west and so, in that moment, I pressed pause to my busy schedule and went outside to savor God’s beauty. I nestled down in my favorite deck chair and began talking with God, thanking him for the spectacular show of beauty as I witnessed that big ball of fire make its nighttime descent behind our hillside. As I whispered to the Lord, “God, this is so beautiful,” do you know what he said back to me?

“Leslie, I do this nearly every night. You’re just too busy to notice.”

He’s right. God has provided a built-in stress reliever where we can stop, savor, and find rest for our soul. Stopping my hectic life for ten minutes of savoring God’s beauty, gave me the right frame of mind to finish my day wisely instead of frenzied.

If you want to experience God more, learn to savor his creation. Take a moment today to read through Psalm 23:1-3. Notice how God led the psalmist to savor his created world and, in the process, restored his soul. Now it’s your turn. Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Savor him and his creation.