Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
When it comes to our relationship with God, what we believe may not be the biggest threat to our faith. This doesn’t mean that our beliefs aren’t necessary, because they indeed matter a great deal. Yet, if they don’t influence our words and actions, then there is another problem at hand. Our beliefs become a novel idea instead of a firm foundation. Rather than convictions, we have intentions.
We all know that some things are more important than others. Most of us believe that our relationship with God is significant, especially because we know He is real and concerned with our heart. We also nod our head and agree that family time and investing in others matters. We recognize that there are benefits to giving ourselves to a greater good. We understand building things that are beautiful and expressive can bring joy to this world. Each one of us, whether we articulate them or not, has a set of priorities, things we deem essential. Unfortunately, we don’t always arrange our time for these things.
There is a force that acts against us. We don’t set out to run so fast, it just happens. Time gets away from us. The pace of our lives tends to become hurried with increased pressure, and ultimately, we are overwhelmed. Hurried is the state in which we live, but rushed describes what happens to us. It is the subtle push from behind that speeds us towards the future.
We rush with no clear direction or purpose. We become opportunistic rather than strategic. We run from one thing to another. We force decisions. We respond to whatever wheel squeaks the loudest. Wrong perceptions force us to push and lead us to a NOW or NEVER crisis.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way. We have a choice and say in our pace. We can either spend our days feeling forced and pressured or we can learn how to live at the pace we were designed to live. One leads to anxiety, fear, frustration, and futility. The other brings intimacy, purpose, perspective and growth.
By engaging in the spiritual discipline of stillness, we display our trust in Christ and His purposes in our lives. We withdraw and hit pause not to escape, but to align our hearts with His own. To know what God is doing, we need to see what God is doing, and that doesn’t occur in a rush. If we want to see differently, we have to live differently. We must create a space to set our pace.
- We don’t set out to run so fast, it just happens. How has this statement played out in your life?
- How can you create space this week to set your pace?
God, rather than rush, may I rest. Allow me to hit pause and take a step back in order to gain perspective on how You are moving in my life. Open my eyes to situations I’m trying to force things to happen. Make it clear to me where I need to slow down and pay attention. Help me to trust and walk in Your ways. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.