Friday, January 11, 2008

slow down

I can imagine my wife, Deb, riding a horse, and doing whatever horseriders do, along with the words- something like: "Whoa. Slow down, Duke (name of her old, favorite horse). Slow down." If the Lord would speak directly to us individually- me, and many around me, I think he might say something much the same.

I am nearly always in a mode that I think is a step or two, or maybe even a half a step ahead of the Lord. Result is the same: I'm out of step, and therefore end up not really walking with the Lord at all. Maybe some of us lag behind, and in my getting ahead, I can end up knowing I'm lost, and then end up lagging behind as well. I suspect most Christians in my culture have this problem of getting ahead of the Lord, in our hurry to get this, that and something else done. And in our misplaced priorities.

Slowing down involves faith that insists that all in this life at the core is of God. If God is not in it, and if it's not a work of God, then it's not worth our while, or activity. Yet by nature we think we can do it. Of course there are necessary things to do that do crowd in on us at times. The question might be, How do we do those things? And in so doing, are we endeavoring to walk by the Spirit, and not by the flesh.

I feel lost even as I'm typing this post. It's almost automatic of me that I'm ahead of the Lord, and therefore not really myself, as God would have myself to be and as he is remaking me in Jesus.

So what then, and now? I have to stop. Listen. Wait. On the Lord. Pray. Read Scripture slowly, and preferably out loud, even if in my mind. I know that as I do this, in faith, God will help me to get back to where I belong as his child, and as a brother with our Brother, in fellowship with each other in him.

Then and there there is a quiet sense of rest, grace and peace. And that is where I want to dwell. But from which I so easily stray.

Well, hopefully there are a number of you who can help us in this. What would you add to these piecemeal thoughts?


Rachel Mc said...

"Slowing down insists that all in this life at the core is of God"
Words I know are true but also have difficulty following. My issue is that I am a type "A" personality. You want someone to step up and take action? Call me.
So I approach worship and prayer and journaling and all else like this. While I am working on surrendering all to God, I want to control the surender! Just like in other situations I am trying to "worship correctly" "get it right" and in true type A style I research,read everything I can, join blogs! and just generally work at getting it right so I never spend time at getting it right. That is defintely one step ahead of the Lord. I am daily trying to reflect, retreat, pray and listen and I need to be alone and quiet to do this. I don't want to be ahead of the Lord and thank you for letting me know other people struggle with this.
(I have never tried reading scripture out loud when I am alone- I'll give it a try because it will help me to concentrate on the meaning more)

preacherman said...

Excellent post on slowing down brother. I believe all Christian must practice this in order to find real intimacy with God.
I hope you have a blessed weekend.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry

Anonymous said...

Great post, Ted. You've inspired me with some further thoughts, and in the process I realized I've touched on this concept several times in the past six months. Maybe I'm a bit lost as well. ;^)

Anonymous said...

i got a kick out of this post...because it was something that i was going through just this morning. i had taken the youngest to school, the oldest is leaving for college tomorrow, i had finished working on something that took the last two afternoons, husband was already in the backroom on the phone with business, and i just felt lost. all of a sudden i knew there were plenty of things that i needed to do or could do...but, i just wandered around. so i grabbed my coat and hat and decided to take a drive to remove myself from the house and get some time alone. i talked with God while i drove. as we talked, it came to me how easly we humans get caught up in thinking too much. i mean our brains can only understand so much...but, we have a desire to understand more. so, i can only come to rest in the place where i trust that the Holy Spirit will lead me and God will be with me and will take care of things no matter where i go...especially if i go to Him to be together. for i think that when we are being together, where ever that may be, and what ever that may be, that God is in it and works things out in the knowledge that only He knows and understands...all power and without limits. so i think that when i relax my mind and spend time just being with God, that is what where i think that i should strive to be... no matter what. and like a little lamb or child, i wander away from that and must constantly be brought back. and i am.

believe Jesus
believe God
thank God for His Holy Spirit
working in all of His children

Ted M. Gossard said...

It is especially hard for people who are "go getters" like you. Though maybe you can use that to your advantage in being a go getter to slow down and pray and wait, etc. And we have to remember that it takes time.

Surely Peter along with others in Scripture had this kind of personality. But like Peter said, "To whom, or where else can we go. You have the words of eternal life, and you are the life." (my paraphrase and addition, from John 6, I think it is).

Ted M. Gossard said...

Brother Maynard,
Thanks for your "Amen" and your fine words on this, over at your blog. Good to try to figure out something of what this means, for each of us individually, as we're all so different, while at the same time in general, in this kind of thing, together.

Ted M. Gossard said...

You too, brother. And thanks. I need to practice this daily, and grow so much more in it, and as you say, therefore experience God more intimately.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, I experienced something of that very early on in my Christian walk, as I'm sure, really, we all did in some way. I would have been so much better off to have continued in that track, but in a way was lost or at a distance, following at a distance- more than less, I think, for some years.

We need to endeavor to be in the Lord's presence in special ways, I think, like Mary did (of Martha, Mary and Lazarus).


Jim Martin said...

This is a very good post and one that I need to pay attention to. Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nice to hear from you; thanks for your kind comment.

Yes, I know. I need to keep reminding mysef of this. I think the Lord is slowing me down; this week getting me- I believe, to cut down on caffeine. A healthy kind of slowing down for me.