Slow down to be with Jesus
Artwork: “Benchmark” by Duncan Stewart
“Every so often it is a good idea to get off the vehicle (Vespa) that we are racing through life on to pause and assess where we have come from and if the direction in which we are heading is a good one.”
Consider the unhurried life
If we look at Jesus’ life in the gospels, we see how he lived an unhurried life. He was urgent to do what God wanted him to do, but he did it patiently, restfully, trusting God.
But we know we live hurried lives, we often find ourselves rushing from one thing to another, not being present to ourselves, to God or to others. Being in a hurry, having too much to do, stops us from being open to the life-giving Spirit, to listening to God’s voice and making choices in line with God’s purpose for us. The dictionary says that hurry means excessive haste, to impel with great speed. The words hurricane and hurly-burly come from hurry – you can almost feel it!
Slowing down to be with Jesus allows us to be with God in love, communion and conversation. It allows us to be present to others to love them and listen to them; to be present to ourselves and notice the deep desires and cries of our hearts, to experience and relish the pleasures of life. Partnering with God in our work, living our ordinary everyday lives with Jesus is the most beautiful blessing life has to offer for human beings.
Slowing down to be with Jesus means that we can stop the hurly-burly and do what is truly important with peace, love and strength.
Scriptures to reflect on the restful and beautiful life in God
“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”” Psalm 46:10 NIV
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NIV
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3-4 NIV
“The path of right-living people is level. The Leveler evens the road for the right-living. We’re in no hurry, GOD. We’re content to linger in the path sign-posted with your decisions. Who you are and what you’ve done are all we’ll ever want.” Isaiah 26:7 The Message
“So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.” Isaiah 28:16 NIV
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15 NIV
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”” Mark 6:31 NIV
Questions to ponder
- When do I catch myself hurrying?
- Why am so often living in hurry mode?
- What patterns of greed or avoidance are revealed in my hurriedness?
- What is God’s invitation to me?
- How can I rearrange my day so that I carve out some moments to consciously be with Jesus?
A prayer to pray: Palms up, palms down
- Sit comfortably. Breathe deeply and relax. Intentionally place yourself in the presence of Jesus.
- Turn you palms down and begin to drop your cares, worries, agendas, hurry and expectations into Jesus’ hands. Let go of all the busyness and heaviness. Relax. Breathe deeply.
- When you have given your cares to Jesus, turn your palms up. Open your hands to receive God’s presence, peace and love. Listen.
- When you feel prompted to end, tell the Lord what is like for you to simply be with Him.
To slow down and stop hurrying you can try this:
- Form a clear intention to live without hurry. Remember that Jesus has promised to be with you every minute of your life. Keep a clear picture before you of the good and beautiful life in God.
- Form a mental picture of your place in the world before God. What is God doing and where do you fit in? Write it down. Note – God never gives us too much to do.
On the basis of that:
c. Begin to eliminate things you “have” to do that don’t fit in with God’s purpose for you.
Don’t be afraid of doing nothing – plan such times
d. Deal honestly with why you have a hard time saying no.
Is it because you are unclear about your purpose in life?
Or is it because you fear rejection?
e. Deal with the panic of not being busy. That is just a habit.
Allow yourself to feel the panic, feel it roll or you…and don’t go for the fix.
Let is subside – adrenalin addiction is real!
f. Return to the awareness that God is with you, cares for you and has already blessed you.
A practice to take with you
So here’s a challenge for this time of Lent: go slowly.
How about trying to walk and drive a little slower this Lent. This means that you might take a little longer to get where you need to go. Become aware of the presence of Jesus with you. Notice your thoughts and feelings and sensations in your body as you try to go slower. At the end of the day consider how it went. Talk to Jesus about it and ask for any grace you might need to go a little slower to be with Him.