[e-Devotionals] 1999-08-18 - Is Faster Better?

Nahum 2:4 (NLT) The chariots race recklessly along the streets and through the squares, swift as lightning, flickering like torches.

Ok folks, it's time for a mass confession. If we were "in person," I would love to see a show of hands of how many of you think faster is better. See, I am so neurotic about it that I would want to be the fastest and first one to raise my hand! Just the other day I was driving on to my vacation and when the road narrowed from four lanes back to two lanes, the most important thing at that moment in my life was to go as fast as I could, to beat the car in front of me to the two lane section! Ah, this confession feels good, so bear with one more example. (For you fast freaks like me, I will try to hurry through this!) At my office, the kitchen has a stove that I used to boil water for coffee. That was just too slow. So, I invested in a microwave oven. It can boil water in a coffee mug in just over 2 minutes! Still too slow, I now have an instant hot water dispenser! Now that is fast! I save two minutes anytime I want a hot drink! And as for computers, I am too embarrassed to confess to you how many computers and gadgets I have been through to speed up my work.

Is faster really better? I get going so fast I can't slow down, I can't stop, I can't take time out. Do you do this? Are you like a chariot racing recklessly through life, out of control? My speed of life is so fast at times, that I just blow past people, relationships, and worst of all, God. Ironic wouldn't you say? I am going so fast to try to please people that really don't care about me, that I am destroying my relationships with the people that matter the most. Worst of all, I am distancing myself from a very loving and patient God.

I have known about my problem for some time now, but it really came home to me during my recent time away on vacation. God constantly amazes me at how He can get His points across. I was attending a golf school for three days a few weeks ago and my instructor took videos of my swing. We watched the videos and all he said was, "David, you swing too fast." I blurted out, "Well I live fast!" It was one of those "aha" moments in my life. He slowed my swing down and I beat my best score the next afternoon by 10 strokes. Gee, maybe I can slow life down and "score" better with this one and only life that God gave me. Maybe I can be a better friend to people, a better father and husband, a better Christian, if I just slow it down a few notches.

Jesus had it so right when He would preach His heart out, then would go away for a while. He might walk to another town, or just go pray somewhere away from the crowds. I think Jesus modeled for us the concept of personal "down-time." Time to just step back, step away and focus on what really matters. Time to shift to a slower gear, time to reflect, time to really live, not just go through the motions of living, time to focus on the Father and listen for His guidance and direction for our lives.

So, give it a try. Take mini-breaks during the day. Take time to step back and reflect, time to ease back on the throttle, time to focus on what really matters in this life. Is faster better? Nah, I don't think so.

Father, some of us are living like chariots out of control, rushing here and there, filling our lives with activities that crowd out those around us that matter the most. Forgive us for crowding You out, Father. Help us to do as your Son modeled for us; help us to slow life down a notch or two. Help us to remember to take mini down-times to reflect on You and Your will for our lives. In Your Son's name, Amen.

David Massey