Read Matthew 14:13-23 - The feeding of 5,000.

When [Jesus] sent [the crowds] away, he went up onto a mountain by himself to pray. Evening came and he was alone. Matthew 14:23 (CEB)

Stacey Elza, from West Virginia, once tried making bread. It had just four ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast. Stacey thought,How hard could it be? She mixed the ingredients to form a sticky dough, covered it with a damp cloth and plastic bag, and set it by the stove to rise for an hour. But then she got distracted, and before she knew it , 90 minutes had passed. The yeast had multiplied so much that the dough had overrun the bowl. Stacey moved it to the oven anyway, and she ended up with a loaf that was golden on the outside - but hollow in the middle.

Her distractedness caused her dough to rise too much that day. Distraction also sometimes negatively affects her spiritual life. As a parent who works full-time, Stacey can get so caught up in life's everyday demands - demands of her job, staying on top of her email inbox, or planning loads of laundry around who has the fewest clean socks - that her soul feels as hollow as that bread. When she prioritizes reading scripture, praying, and spending time with God in solitude, she makes room in her life to better serve the kingdom of heaven.

In this world with all of its demands. it is very easy to get distracted. Sometimes time goes by so fast, it is hard just to keep up. But if we can just slow down a little and spend just a few minutes with God, it can make a world of difference in our lives.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to care for ourselves as we also care for others. Nurture our faith so that your love and mercy can rise within us, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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