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Oh contentment, you elusive partner. I have lost you again and you have become a stranger. What happened to us? We were together only a few weeks ago.

Philippians 4:12-13
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Slow down. I’ve got to slow down. No, it’s more than a slow-down.

Today, I read a newspaper article about stuttering and how stutterers feel the world moves on without them as they are caught in a vortex of a word that refuses to be spoken, caught in the mouth, unyielding.

Chaos and busyness are the same for me. I am on a treadmill and I am making no progress forward. I am working hard, but the world continues to whirl past me. No matter how fast I move, everything else moves faster. I am a life stutterer, repeating my mistakes, stumbling at another threshold.

Contentment has two parts: stopping without remorse and watching without guilt.

When I stop, time and situations continue to spin. I understand it all intellectually. At first, I am overwhelmed and then slowly, the longer I stay in a moment of stillness, I can differentiate tasks, colors, and sounds. As I tolerate this state a little longer, clarity and priorities do emerge. This is when I can let go of non-essentials.

I’ve been through this process before. But I cannot seem sustain it.

When I am doing, I must “do” 100%, and not think or plan the next thing, the next event, the next task. There can be joy in the doing if it is the right activity for the moment, fully experienced.

And sometimes, there is no doing at all. But I find these times the hardest. I see what needs to be done around me: the unfinished tasks of yesterday, the collected piles of trouble and responsibility. How can I “just be” when there is so much “to do?”

There is no going back, I can only go forward. This morning, I stole the hour to pray and write. It’s grounding. I can start with this. It’s all I have for now.

Take a breath. Exhale slowly. And when I stand up from this chair, I will be gentle with my stuttering life. I will give the next thing time to form fully. It’s a day and it’s part of my story.

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