The blessing in slowing down
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
A slower life sounds delightful! Maybe that’s why country living is such a popular idea. We idealize a lifestyle led by simple faith and slower daily routines.
But I’ll be honest, my country home would need good Wi-Fi. I like the idea of a slower lifestyle, but not when it comes to my computer speed. Even a 3-second delay has me worried I might need an upgrade! So much of what I do on a daily basis involves technology.
The truth is, some of us would be miserable if things slowed down. We’d much rather things hurry up.
The problem is, our souls weren't created for hurry. And as a result, hurry is the enemy of what matters most in life.
For so many years it seemed someone pressed fast-forward on my life. And I say “someone” because I felt like a victim. It was always someone else’s fault we were rushing around in the morning or racing out the door in a frenzy.
It took years for me to realize hurry wasn’t a mandate. There were other options, especially those that made me a nicer person. Hurry didn’t bring out my best. In fact, I can be pretty self-centered when I rush. And the work I think I’m crushing is really crushing me.
The “why” behind living an overcrowded life isn’t easy to discover — and mine certainly wasn’t. The reasons I jam-packed my schedule were complicated. Clearly having the right planner or time management program wasn’t the answer. Because underneath it all, I was searching for significance and believed doing more was the answer.
The more you do, the faster you have to work to get it all done. And the hurry cycle begins.
Here’s the problem: Hurry will never get us what we really want.
If you want a deeper relationship with God and others; hurry makes them shallow.
If you want to think more deeply about the Lord and the world around you; hurry makes it impossible.
If you want to do better work; hurry steals any excellence you hope to have.
If you want to serve others well; hurry causes you to brush over their needs.
Hurry steals the best from us, and so we must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our life.
We were designed to go at a slower pace, to ponder, to process thoughts one at a time, to focus on the face in front of us with tender care. And when we try to go at computer-speed, we miss out on what’s important in life.
The Apostle Paul penned a list of the characteristics a Christian should exhibit when the Spirit of God lives in them. And not one of them is possible when I’m in a hurry: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control …” (Galatians 5:22).
Hurry robs us of the beauty God has placed in front of us and the grace others so desperately need.
Sometimes dealing with hurry is as simple as deciding to slow down. Walk more slowly … talk more slowly. Sometimes it means editing our schedules and removing half (if not more) of our optional responsibilities.
We can uncover the root of our hurry, but it takes time. To start, the next time you feel hurry start to sneak in and push the gas pedal, pause and breathe deeply. Refuse to be rushed. Declare that hurry has no place in the good work you’re doing or the beautiful life God’s placed before you.
Lord, thank You for Your patience with me. You are never in a rush when I come to You. Help me turn to You more often and invite Your Spirit to have His way in me, bringing a calmness I desperately need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Girl Get Up!
"that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19 NKJV
We all have experienced rejection at some point in our life. Maybe you’ve been rejected by a parent who told you, you weren’t loved. A friend who excluded you from an event. A colleague or boss. Perhaps a school or job you were vying for. A significant other or husband that left you for someone else. The truth is that rejection does not discriminate; it can come from family, friends, coworkers, classmates, strangers; in word and/or deed. Rejection—is personal. It sticks to our souls. It does not respond to reason, and is not easily dislodged from our hearts. We can try to talk ourselves out of the indictment that comes with it, but sometimes that can be a challenge.
I’ve had experiences in my life that I thought I had moved on from, only to have a nerve hit and realize I had not completely let it go. You too may think you’ve moved on from the pain of rejection until you find yourself feeling sad, hurt, or frustrated with something that happened years ago. So how do you move past the pain of rejection and get back up?
First, you must recognize what you are dealing with. If you don’t know what the problem is, how do you expect to fix it? Well rejection is like a seed that gets planted by our life experiences. If it goes unchecked, then it continues to grow and that seed of rejection can have many negative roots feeding it such as: depression, loss of confidence, anger, a need to be in control, a rebellious attitude, and self-pity. But that is not what God desires for your life and you should not desire that either. We are to be rooted and grounded in His love.
My divorce was a nightmare (to say the least), and once I realized (with the help of loving friends) that I was dealing with rejection I had to take authority over that. I had to wash the pride from my eyes and allow the Lord to wash me in His mercy and grace. Reminding myself constantly that I was rooted and grounded in His love. That I have immense worth and value and not only am I loved but I’m special to Him. Although an individual may reject me, the Lord will never reject me. As a result, I know that my sense of worth is not based on what someone else thinks about me, but it’s based on who I know I am in Christ. I was reminded that I am His and that He loves and adores me despite my flaws and insecurities. Subsequently, I was able to take my focus off of my rejecter, and instead focus on my approver – Jesus. Look, Jesus is no respecter of persons what He showed me and helped me through, He can do the same for you. Regardless of what’s happened in your past or how deeply you may be rooted in rejection, God can heal you. He can help pull up those bad roots and help you get rooted and grounded in His love.