Everybody is always rushing everywhere. Isn’t it amazing? Everybody is searching for calmness and peace, yet many people aren’t even one hour into their day and they’re already stressed out and exhausted. Rushing to work from home, rushing between appointments, rushing to get the kids to school on time, rushing back home after work, and finally rushing off to bed to get some sleep before the whole vicious cycle repeats itself again tomorrow.
Some people anxiously grab hold of their daily to-do list and start ticking off items as they rush through the day. Others reach out to life coaches to stay motivated and learn how to do proper planning. Yet others start seeking help in learning various methods of meditation.
Even many of us as Christians, are always rushing, rushing, rushing. We’re always on the run; but where to? What is the sense in all this? I can already hear you saying “we live in a fast-paced world, we have to keep up, and we have goals to achieve”. I know; that’s exactly what I’ve been saying for many years.
I want to make a statement to the contrary today. For quite a while now I’ve deliberately made it my slogan to say “slower is faster”.
Slower is Faster.
So many people try to squeeze the maximum activity into the minimum amount of time. Meetings or activities are scheduled with hardly any buffer time in between. Only one delay and your whole day turn into chaos. It is one constant race against time. This reminds me of a valuable lesson my father taught me. He told me to rather take some time and plan properly. He always told me that all is well as long as you’re ahead of time, but as soon as time gets ahead of you, it is extremely difficult to catch up again.Slower is faster Click To Tweet
When I say “go slower”, I don’t say crawl around at a snail’s pace. We are not supposed to be wasting time. But don’t rush around. Take it calmly – one step at a time and avoid making mistakes that you will later regret. Do all that you can do to the best of your ability; go as fast as you can, but never hurry, and never allow fear or worry to take hold of you. Rather be thorough and do it right the first time. Don’t settle for second best, go for excellence.
I surely find that by refusing to rush through the day, but rather calming down and doing one thing at a time, I get more done in even less time.
On more than one occasion I have heard about people who would be diagnosed with some terminal disease (often due to a stressful lifestyle). Without exception, their values change almost instantly. Everything that was previously driving them to live at such a fast pace suddenly loses its meaning and just aren’t all that important anymore.
That makes you ask the question; “Was it worth it in the first place”? Psalm 39:6 says “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be”.
Before you give in to the demands of the world, it might be worth it to take stock of your priorities. You can have a much better quality lifestyle when you find peace in your life.
Do You Practice What You Preach?
We often get frustrated with circumstances we face on a daily basis. We realize that the world is in desperate need of hearing the good news that there is a loving God who dearly loves them. That He loves them so much that He gave His Son who paid the ultimate price. He did that so that we can be set free. Yet, what image of Christianity are we showing to the world out there?
Even we as Christians are taking part in the “rat race”. We frantically grab our to-do lists and start ticking off our items as we rush through the day. We anxiously take part in competitive actions to get that promotion in the workplace, instead of trusting God for the promotion.
Instead of reaching out to people, we point at them and become judgmental. And then we can’t understand why people run away at the first sign of a Christian coming their way. They say: “If that is Christianity, then I would rather stay where I am”. Then we frown upon them and cannot understand why they respond that way.
Have you ever given thought as to how you respond when you get confronted with what you do and it feels like someone is judging you? Would you follow someone else’s advice and do as he does, while he is a nervous wreck and almost totally burnt out from exhaustion?
How about reaching out with compassion? That doesn’t mean we have to tolerate sin. But let us be reminded of when Jesus said in John 8:7 (NIV) “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
When people realize that God (and therefore we also) does not approve or tolerate the act of sin, but He (and us) still love the person, they become much more receptive.
We Love to Give Advice, but Do We Really Have Any To Offer?
We are stressed to the limit, irritated and anxious ourselves, yet we cannot understand why people aren’t drawn to Christianity. With no peace in your life, but only stress, anxiousness, and worry, what do you have to offer to an already broken world. Who would want what you have?
That is why Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV) says 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.
How Can You Make A Difference?
Well, that sounds great, but how can you just ‘not worry about tomorrow’? That sounds irresponsible. No, it’s not. Not if you trust God. And it all starts with your thinking.
Romans 12:1-2(NIV) says “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will”.
It is about the renewal of your mind.
Another point where many people often miss it is that they would still be in doubt after praying because they believe their prayer will be answered only ‘if it is God’s will’. So after praying, they wait to see whether their prayer will be answered or not, and that determines whether it was God’s will for them.
God’s will is given to us in His Word – the Bible. We should learn what God’s will is by meditating on the Word (Joshua 1:8), developing faith in the Word (Romans 10:17) and then praying the will of God by faith (Mark 11:22-25).
That doesn’t mean we can manipulate God. He still knows what is best for us and when. His timing is always perfect. If you don’t immediately see physical results according to what you prayed, that doesn’t mean that God didn’t hear or answer your prayer. He always hears your prayer, but His ways are higher than ours and is beyond our understanding, therefore He says in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.[a] “
Stop The Rush and Make God’s Word Final Authority in Your Life.
First, you need to make God’s Word final authority in your life. Whatever God says in His Word is what we should do. If you don’t have time to spend meditating on God’s Word, that is already a clear indication that you are too busy.
Proverbs 3:1-3 says “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”.
Meditate on the Word until you spontaneously start responding to circumstances from the Word (Joshua 1:8).
That will set you free from being a people’s pleaser but will enable you to become a God pleaser. It will set you free from being overly concerned with the opinions of other people.
When reaching out to other people, you don’t need to get involved in all kinds of arguments, because:
- You can calmly confirm what you say from the Word and that settles it.
- You would have no need to be judgmental because you realize that we are all under the Grace of God.
You see, it’s not about keeping a whole set of rules; it’s about being in a relationship with your Heavenly Father.
Over to You
I hope this article has been helpful to you.
Are you still running in the “rat race”? Or have you found peace? Does the peace of God guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)?
Tell me more about it in the comments section. I look forward to hearing from you.