Recently, I went snowboarding with the men in my family and had a wonderful time, minus the crowded lift lines. The sun was out, snow was pretty good, it wasn’t too cold and I stayed warm throughout the day (except for getting some snow down my pants). The toxic desire part, however, happens for me when I want to keep the same speed as my teenage sons. They have been skiing for more than ten years and they’re very proficient and fast. The problem is that I also like to go really fastand watching them jet ahead of me, is like throwing down the gauntlet with an irresistable challenge. But alas, from innumerable injuries that need no details here, I’ve concluded that snowboarding as fast as my teenage sons isn’t good for my health, regardless of what I want.
So let’s remember that not all of our desires come from God (Ps 37:4) and let’s stay mindful not to allow the toxic desires to override common sense and obedience to God’s Word 🙂
Following the Holy Spirit means that we allow the Holy Spirit to set the direction & pace regardless of the terrain. So I’m learning that the course navigation isn’t up to me, nor are the seeming detours when I think we are aiming for a particular destination.
Additionally, for pace, there are times when the Holy Spirit seems to move slower than molasses in Winter. At other times, it feels like I’m on the Aerosmith rollercoaster at Universal Studios, going from 0-60mph in 4seconds. Exhilarating!!!
And then there’s the terrain part of following the Holy Spirit – bumpy, hilly, rocky, smooth, dusty, pristine, raucous & serene.
To be sure, following the Holy Spirit is a lifelong journey in which we get to know the Holy Spirit better & better one step at a time!
I like to go fast – snowboarding, quick flights & speedy travel. In the last two weeks, however, our family has taken a “slower” vacation. We’ve driven from Denver, stopping to see relatives & friends, all the way to Washington DC. We are now driving back to Denver from DC. I’ve done the round trip flight from Denver to DC more times than I can count & it takes about 7hours total (including driving & airport security) to fly one way. In contrast, it will take us 2.5 days to drive from DC to Denver, with minimal stops.
Along this vacation, I’ve noticed some significant advantages to this slower travel stuff:
More time to think, pray & explore – rather than focusing on the travel, slowing down allows me the space to pray & process
Beauty in various forms – from flat farmlands to the Smokey Mountains & rolling forested hills of West Virginia, there’s beauty everywhere. Being on the ground let’s me experience this beauty & appreciate Gods immense creativity.
Deeper conversations – getting to chat with my relatives & friends face to face has been a great benefit to this slow down approach to travel.
There’s some good wisdom to the Simon & Garfunkel song, “Feeling Groovy”
Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.
I pray that you can slow down & enjoy your weekend with the Holy Spirit!
We are in the middle of our annual family vacation & this year, we’re driving round trip from Denver to Washington, D.C. So far, we’ve stopped along the way to hang out with family & friends, enjoying some wonderful time to catch up & reconnect.
Driving is an interesting experience for me because I usually fly & endeavor to make my travel time as short as possible. This kind of travel is a dramatically slower form of getting from point A to B, so it’s an altogether different experience.
Seems to me that our journey with God has different speeds. We can go through seasons when it seems like we’re moving super fast & making speedy progress. Then there are times when things are going so slowly that it hardly seems like we’re moving at all. Maybe God is more about the fellowship with us along the journey rather than the speed at which we reach our destinations.
America has this very civilized concept called speed limits & they’re very nice in theory. Speed limits are supposed to keep us driving at a safe speed & help us get to our destination in an orderly fashion.
Me, not so much. It’s not that I’m rebellious, I just like to go fast & not only with driving. With my “go fast” mentality, here are a few things I’m learning lately from God
*Slowing down isn’t failure it’s the space you need to marinate: time is often a necessary ingredient for a thorough outcome & not just something that’s half-baked, or good enough
*pacing enables me to go farther, longer & finish rather than burning myself out with each beginning
*sometimes I speed to excuse a lack of discipline in my life or to compensate for not being proficient at something; some people use the same idea but for going slowly & maybe being obstinate 🙂
*I’m learning to trust God for the various seasons & paces in my life – growing & learning
“Sarah, it just takes time & you’re making great progress; remember that time is your friend & not an enemy.” My physical therapist for my shoulder keeps telling me that it just takes time: this to a person who wants to GO FAST, have fun, play some basketball, go swimming & be active. I’m learning that maybe I’m kind of impatient, possibly ,)
If I try to do too much or go too fast with my shoulder, I just hurt myself & delay my recovery.
These lessons can apply to lots of areas:
*learning to manage our money
*improving our physical health
*growing in our walk with God
*learning a new skill, sport or job
*parenting adventures ,)
Be patient in the process & don’t get discouraged. You’re doing great 🙂
Progress is something we all seem keen to experience. We all like to get better, do better & make progress – super appealing. But sometimes the tricky part with progress is the pace – slow progress can be maddening & fast progress can be scary. But I choose to celebrate progress regardless of the pace 🙂
So my shoulder is making progress compared to when it was dislocated a few months ago & compared to the surgery on it two weeks ago. Is it the speedy progress where I can start swimming & playing basketball now? Not quite but with some physical therapy & a few months work, I should be better than where I started even before I dislocated my shoulder.
Sometimes we have to go back before we can make progress 🙂
I’m currently reading the book of Nehemiah & I was encouraged this morning when I read about Nehemiah’s reaction to his enemies (Sanballat & Tobia) when they severaly opposed Nehemiah & the Jews. Instead of quitting, Nehemiah split up the people & let half of them keeping working to repair the wall & posted the other half to protect those who were working on the wall. By splitting up his work force into 2 groups, he probably lengthened the time it took to finish the project, but my point is that he didn’t quit. They kept working, even though their progress slowed down, but they didn’t quit.
I’m a speed fiend – I like fast: fast snowboarding, fast travel, fast driving, fast food (sometimes), fast swimming & speedy progress. Being fast yields itself well to the world in which we live. We like microwaves, no lines, phone apps that help us avoid traffic & almost anything that makes us quicker, more efficient & speedy.
The problem with speed is that everything can become increasingly blurry, the faster our lives move. Speed enables us to overlook things, of which some are important beyond description. There is definitely such a thing as too slow, but let’s be careful that our lives get so fast that we neglect to live & love.
I’m a go fast person – snowboard fast, travel fast, a few speeding tickets, etc. I like to go fast, but I’m also learning that from time to time, I can get burned by my need for speed.
Here are some examples:
*character is the result of small choices made over minutes, hours, days, weeks & years
*relationships don’t foster depth & richness at the same speed as microwave popcorn
*trust requires time & consistency
*our relationship with God can become increasingly fruitful the longer we stay committed to God