It happened again. I got distracted and lost track of time. Now I was running late.
I had just pulled out of my driveway when a woman started to cross the street in front of me. Instead of continuing to the sidewalk, she walked on the road, forcing me to slow to a crawl.
After passing her I hurried on, hoping I wouldn’t be late for my appointment. Soon I found myself stuck behind a slow moving car. My frustration started to build. I checked the speedometer and realized we were going the speed limit. If this vehicle hadn’t slowed me down I would have far exceeded the limit. I needed to be more mindful of what I was doing.
It would be nice to say that I got the message. In reality it took one more case of being forced to slow down. Since it happened three times in less than ten minutes I wondered if there was a lesson for me here.
Too often I’m either distracted or rushing. When this happens it’s easy to miss the blessings God has placed before me. He sprinkles treasures though the day to delight me and demonstrate his love. In my hurried state I am apt to pass them by without a second glance. What if I failed to notice the very thing he wanted me to experience today?
This lesson stayed with me for the rest of the day as I slowed down to pay attention to him. I know there will be struggles in my quest to stop speeding through life and am grateful God is patient to guide me through them.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. (Ephesians 1:3 NLT)
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. (James 4:8 NLT)
We had just finished dinner and I put some frozen baking in the microwave to defrost for dessert. There was a strange noise and I opened the door to check inside. Everything seemed fine so the power button was pressed again.
Instantly there was a crackle and smoke started to billow from the top. Quickly we unplugged it and removed it from the house. Our microwave had burned out.
How were we to manage? We’d become accustomed to defrosting, cooking and reheating in a fraction of the time these things once required.
Come to think of it, I’ve been living my life the same way. When I want something, I want it now. Waiting and patience had become things of the past. Shouldn’t everything have results as instant as what I experienced with the microwave?
This appliance burning out reminded me that when I do too much I can burn out as well. Racing around trying to do things at the last minute isn’t working so well for me. It’s time to slow down, think about what needs to be done and plan ahead. The challenge is to balance the busyness with rest and renewal. Both can be scheduled into my day.
Much can be learned from the example of Jesus. He led a busy life but also took time to rest. Jesus not only modeled rest for us, he is also the source of our rest. Following his teachings will ensure that I don’t burn out.
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31 NIV)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28,29 NIV)