As we take a break for summer – the next Strive events are in September – I’ve been thinking about slowing down. So many of my friends and colleagues are running on empty… me too. It’s about time we took a look at slowing down.
I took a look at scripture, and am stunned about where this appears… from start to finish and all in between! So here is a synopsis of what I found & how it spoke to me;
First I found this in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing
‘Surrender my body to the flames’… I don’t know about you but when I work my socks off it can sometimes feel like that. I’m even thinking maybe this is the source of the Monday morning feeling! If work (or whatever is exhausting you) drains so much, then there is likely no love in it. So how to change this? I was led to Isaiah 40:28-31
31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
This is a stunning piece of scripture that speaks so much to me. Such power in the words. Rest & hope in the Lord, soar on wings like eagles. Doesn’t get better than that!
Worried that others will work harder & achieve more? That’s covered in Psalm 37
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways
Being busy all the time inevitably means we miss God. It seems we are called to pray and ask God for what’s on our hearts, and just as important; be still and wait patiently to hear from Him. Not convinced? Well He is the creator of all, look at Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
If He has the plans… why on earth would we not spend time earnestly seeking Him?!
Finally, what did the ultimate man do? Well…
- After a full-on day, feeding the 5000? He went off by himself to pray, do you ever do that after a tough day? Matthew 14:22-23
He also took the apostles off to a quiet place for some rest. Mark 6:30-31
- Before choosing the 12 apostles? He also went off to pray for this tough decision. Luke 6:12-13
- When he’d had just about enough? Again he retreated to pray. Luke 22:39-43
The message seems loud and clear to me. Even if you can only retreat (like Jesus in Luke 22) a stones throw away. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. Grab those minutes, take time out, and give it up to God.
We must strive to find a manageable pace of live. We owe it to ourselves, and to those around us to be the best we can. We also must make God the obvious centre of our lives – which looks nothing like working ourselves to the bone, but more about giving up authority and power to Him… He is the creator afterall!