by Pastor Gene
Carl Honore wrote a book with an intriguing title, In Praise of Slowness. It’s not a Christian book, but it’s offers many insightful sociological observations that affirm the wisdom of God’s command that we “be still” (Psalm 46:10a).
Honore says that the western world today is stuck in fast forward and obsessed with speed. That every moment of the day feels like a race against the clock. He observes that we used to dial, now we speed dial; we used to read, now we speed read; we used to walk, now we speed walk; and we used to date, now we speed date.
He says, very astutely, I think, “In the headlong dash of daily life we often lose sight of the damage that this roadrunner form of living does to us. We’re so marinated in the culture of speed that we almost fail to notice the toll it takes on every aspect of our lives: on our health, our diet, our work, our relationships … and it often takes a wakeup call to alert us that we’re hurrying through our lives instead of actually living them. That were living the fast life instead of the good life.”
Now none of this, of course, is new to God! The One who made us for Himself and who loves us, has always known that its unhealthy for us to travel through life too fast. In the very beginning, in the first few chapters of Genesis, He wrote a 6-to-1 ratio of work-to-rest into the very fabric of the creation. Furthermore, He absolutely DEMANDED that we observe it! It’s one of the big Ten Commandments, #4.
While some might argue that the Fourth Commandment (to observe the Sabbath) has been theologically superseded in the New Testament era by a moment-by-moment “resting” in Jesus by faith, it is indisputable that the work/rest motif is prominent throughout the Bible.
While the Sabbath is the Lord’s, Jesus reminded us that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Some Christians observe a special day; others observe a moment-by-moment resting in the Lord; both views should be respected. “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind,” Paul wrote, “The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord.”
I have no problem with those who observe a special day of Sabbath-rest. Nor with those who observe a moment-by-moment faith-rest. What bothers me is believers who NEVER rest! If that’s you, friend, you’re missing out on a big part of the Father’s desire for your life.
And failing to rest is dangerous business, physically and spiritually. In Psalm 46:10a, God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” You know why? Because if we don’t get still, we’ll forget that He is God! We’ll forget who’s in control. We’ll forget from whom our blessings flow.
We’ll … well, we’ll just forget.
Carl Honore is right: “We often lose sight of the damage that this roadrunner form of living does to us … on our health, our diet, our work, our relationships …”
God not only made these fragile bodies of earth in which we move through space and time, but He’s also left us with an Owner’s Manual to show us how to use it. And, first and foremost, right there at the top of the page in bold print, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God!”
OK, so let’s get still.
Let’s Rest. Think. Pray.
Flying through life at blinding speeds was never the way God intended for His children to live. Up against the fast-paced spirit of the age, Peter says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
The problem with doing that is that it takes time.
- Honore argues that the “dash of life” takes a toll on “every aspect of our lives: on our health, our diet, our work, our relationships.” How is your fast-paced life hurting you? What is it stealing from you that God wants you to have?
- Do you have a quiet time in which to practice the Lord’s instruction to “be still”? Is it time for you to change that?
- Do you purpose to keep a Sabbath-rest in some way? How? What did Jesus mean when He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”?
- We call ourselves followers of Jesus, right? Then let’s follow Him! I mean, really follow Him. And where does He lead? He often leads us away from the crowds. He regularly removed Himself to quiet places in order to get alone with the Father. Luke 5:16 tells us that Jesus “often withdrew to deserted places and prayed” (HCSB). Should His followers do any less?
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