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"Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval."- John 6:27

As we are enter into the month of November and the "Thanksgiving" season there is a GIFT that we may fail to realize is meant to be an immense blessing for our lives. During this season we rightfully focus on and celebrate the gift of ourLOVED ONES. God has blessed each of us with family and friends who provide such encouragement and strength to our lives. We also express gratitude to the Lord for His FAITHFUL PROVISION. From the place we live, to the job we have, to the vehicle that provides transport, to the material possessions of clothing and food, we find ourselves cared for and covered in our daily needs. In making out our "thanksgiving" list we also take note of our PHYSICAL HEALTH. We have a God who watches over our bodies, who gives us the gift of breath with each new day, who heals our infirmities, and who sustains us during the times our body is weak and struggling.

The gift that I am thinking about comes faithfully every fall season. Yet, it mostly goes unnoticed and without the proper measure of thankfulness. The gift I am speaking of is SHORTER DAYS. Along with the cooler weather recently arriving (better late than never), we are seeing the days grow shorter. With this weekend being Daylight Savings Time, we will see a further shortening to our days. Most people do not view shorter days as a gift, but rather just the normal cycle on the calendar as the world turns and time marches on. We take time to thank the Lord for the people in our life, for the blessings of each day, and for God's great love for us. When was the last time you thanked Him for having less day to work with?

What should be a resource of refreshing and a reminder of God's care of our lives is often viewed as a roadblock that keeps us from getting things done, fulfilling our duties, and accomplishing more. We have a mindset that continually wishes for aneight day week and a twenty-five hour day. We are already behind, we are already stressed, we are already pressured by others, we are already overloaded with responsibilities and schedules. Because of the way we think, the way we are wired, and the way the culture tells us to keep pushing the envelope of success and thrills, we are inconvenienced with the notion of stopping and resting. We work overtime even when our supervisors are not demanding it of us; we bring our work home even when the deadline on a project is not the next day; we are constantly looking at our phone for updates even when our attention should be on our family; we find it excruciating impossible to say "no" to people even though we are already maxed out with demands . I will be the first to raise my hand and say "guilty" to living in this type of manner.

In the Bible we find example after example of those who found a wonderful balance of labor and rest, of being driven by purpose and being understanding of their own need to quiet their lives, their minds, and their schedules.

> Jesus would often go to a quiet place to find peaceful communion with Father God.

Mark 1:35- "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed."

> Mary chose that the most needed thing for her life was to sit at Jesus' feet and receive His truth.

Luke 10:39- "Martha had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said."

> David finds the need to take shelter in God in the midst of his daily pursuits and troubles.

Psalm 32:7- "You are My hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."

With the SHORTER DAYS upon us we can experience the gift of this season by making room for something much needed in our lives. May I encourage you to leave work on time, to put your cell phone in a drawer, to leave your email unattended for a few hours, so that you can find refreshing at the end of each day. Rather than making a few extra bucks, rather than trying to get ahead of tomorrow's growing task list, and rather than validating your own sense of self-worth and accomplishment, try a new SHORTER DAY SCHEDULE:

1) Gather the family together for a faith talk (devotion) or a board game.

2) Spend some time reading the Bible and writing down things God is doing in your life each day.

3) Be sure to take care of your body through exercise and getting enough sleep.

4) Schedule a get together with a friend to have coffee and catch-up on life.

Let's give thanks for the fall season, for the shorter days, and for the refreshing we can receive as we find rest in the Lord and give time to those things that are truly most important for our lives.

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