Slowing Down in Order to Live

Many of us are living too fast, and spinning too many plates, and as we know the faster you go the harder it is to stop, and more importantly SPEED KILLS. What’s true regarding the roads is also true regarding our lives. Speed kills us and our relationships – with God, and with one another.

The problem is that when we are going too fast we don’t notice the danger signs, or the warning lights – here are some good indicators:

  • Are you someone who lives from one crisis to another – always putting out fires, a case of continual crisis management?
  • Do you constantly feel over extended?
  • Don’t have enough time?
  • Feeling isolated from others?
  • Relationships are tetchy?
  • Do you frequently feel dry and empty?
  • Feeling like you are not coping?

We need to slow down/stop to see and connect with God.

We live in a world of demands and distractions, but there’s ‘nothing new under the sun,’ so did Mary & Martha – but as Jesus said ‘one thing is needful…’ Luke 10: 38-42.

Many of the churches in Revelation were preoccupied with things/work rather than God – Jesus says, ‘behold, I stand at the door and knock.’ Rev 3:20.

Psalm 46 speaks of a God who is there and able to ‘help us in the time of trouble,’ and ‘streams of living water,’ but we will not know the benefit unless we can learn to ‘be still/stop/cease our activity and know that he is God,’ in other words, that he is there, he is God, sovereign over every circumstance, and there to be to us all that we need.

Are you missing out on time with him? There are several scriptures that speak of the need to ‘Wait on/for the Lord’ – Do you ever wait?

We need to slow down/stop to see and connect with others.

  • Marriage – good marriages don’t just happen. How much does your husband/wife see of you – I mean ‘see’ in the sense of engagement not asleep on the couch, or passing ships? How much time are you spending on your relationship?
  • Family – what about your family, what do they see of you? Do you know what it is to have fun with them? To delight in what they want to delight in? To really converse?
  • Church – is church for you just about meetings? Good churches are a well integrated body of people in Christ, who know how to do the ‘one-another’s’ of scripture. Are you connecting with your brothers and sisters in Christ? When was the last time you did something together?

We need to slow down/stop to see and meet the needs of others

Our speed means we don’t notice what we are going by, we are just focussed on getting there. There are needs, opportunities for ministry that we miss when we travel at such a pace, opportunities that God wants us to see and engage with, and as a result they are not being recognised and met.

If we don’t slow down/stop some-times God forces the issue

That is not a good place to arrive at, but God is gracious. Maybe you are in that position right now, you’ve wondered why, and this is it, God has stopped you, he wants your attention.

If we are not to be stopped then we need to learn to live intentionally

It won’t just happen. You wont wake up one day and find there’s plenty of time, life has a way of happening whether we like it or not, so we have to learn to live intentionally. We can either be controlled by it, or we live intentionally. There’s a world of difference between finding time and making time. We seldom find time, we must make time, we must be intentional (Have you noticed by the way that we  always have the time for what we really want to do?).

If we are going to live the full life that Jesus promised us (John10:10) then we need to slow down by:

  1. Surrendering to God in trust. Ps 37 1-7 –  stop thinking and behaving as if everything depended on us, as if we were sovereign.
  2. Recognising and embracing our limits – learn to say ‘no.’ Some of us are busier than God intended us to be, and if we are to busy to spend time with God we are busier than God intended us to be. Likewise, if we are too busy for those around us we are busier than God intended us to be. Learn to say, ‘no.’
  3. Planning to take regular time out with God, family, friends along the way. Work out what’s best for you in each case. Also ‘plan’ some spontaneity, unplanned moments – we are not on a work to rule! Relationships are never based on legalism.
  4. At times, withdrawing completely– Jesus withdrew from the crowds and demands of ministry to spend time with His Father. When was the last time you had a ‘Sabbath’ or a proper holiday?

Take time to read and mediate on Luke 10:38 – 42 and Psalm 46.

 

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