DEAR ABBY: My husband underwent multiple bypass surgery a year ago, and he's rapidly falling back into his old habits of working too long and too strenuously. I'm afraid he is soon going to be back to the state of health he was in when he got that heart attack.
He is in his late 50s and is still a workaholic. He is holding down two full-time jobs and, being the perfectionist he is, he tries to excel at both. Forget exercise. He has a stationary bicycle at the foot of his bed that he's had for two years, and it's as good as new.
The reason I'm writing is that some of my friends have told me that you had a poem in your column titled "Slow Me Down, Lord," and I would like to get a copy so I can have it blown up and framed and hung over his desk. He has promised that if I get it for him, he will read it every day and try to slow down. Please? -- "SKEETER" IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR "SKEETER": The poem was written by Wilferd A. Peterson, and I hope your husband can slow down long enough to read it. And here it is:
SLOW ME DOWN, LORD
Slow me down, Lord!
Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind.
Steady my harried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Amidst the confusions of my day,
The calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves
With the soothing music of the sighing streams
That live in my memory.
Help me to know
The magical resoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art
Of taking minute vacations of slowing down to look at a flower;
To chat with an old friend or to make a new one;
To pat a stray dog;
To watch a spider build a web;
To smile at a child;
Or to read a few lines from a good book.
Remind me each day
That the race is not always to the swift;
That there is more to life than increasing its speed.
Let me look upward
Into the branches of the towering oak
And know that it grew slowly and well.
Slow me down, Lord,
And inspire me to send my roots deep
Into the soil of life's enduring values
That I may grow toward the stars
Of my greater destiny.