Our Bible verse for today: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Pace yourself”
Years ago there was a popular country and western song by the group “Alabama”. The title was “I’m in a hurry and I don’t know why”. One of the verses went like this:
“I’m in a hurry to get things done; oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun. All I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and I don’t know why.”
I’m preaching to the choir here. I know this describes many of you, but it describes me too. Sometimes I’m a slave to my “to-do” list. I rush and rush until life’s no fun. I mean sure, I get things checked off of my list, but how much do I miss in the process? How many encounters with God? How many special moments with other people? How much of real life – quality life, was missed because I was so busy getting things done? Jesus was never in a hurry. I challenge you to find one time in the gospels where Jesus was rushing around. Never. Didn’t happen. He was busy, yes, but calm and in control.
One of my contemporary heroes of the faith is the late Dallas Willard. He was a professor of philosophy at USC but more importantly, he was a Christian author who wrote many profound and deeply insightful books. It was said of Dallas, “There was an unhurried air about him, leisurely even. The kind of relaxed leisureliness that flows from a person who knows what he’s about, who knows where he’s going and what he’s doing. No need to hurry if you’re confident in who you are.”
In his book “The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath” Mark Buchanan writes about the importance of keeping things in perspective and learning to live in the moment. “Only those who number their days aright gain wise hearts. Only they become God’s sages: those calm, unhurried people who live in each moment fully, savoring simple things, celebrating small epiphanies, unafraid of life’s inevitable surprises and reverses, adaptive to change and yet not chasing after it.” We need to slow down enough to fully appreciate the people and things before us now, in this moment.
To be an overcomer in life you have to pace yourself, otherwise you won’t last. You will be a light that shined brightly, but only briefly, before you burned out. I encourage you (and me) to pace yourself.