Anyone who hikes, runs, or walks knows the importance of “keeping pace”. Yes, timing and challenging yourself to “achieve more” is a hallmark of such sports but even more vital is the ability to keep pace as to avoid burn out.
In these days it’s not unlikely to face burn out or a fizzling of physical or mental conditions because of the constant hurried state and busyness of the world. The Holy Spirit wants to help with that!
How do we “keep pace” in this life to avoid burn out? I may not be the best example of this as I have always been an achiever, happiest when I get things done and get to put a check mark on my to do list. But God is teaching me, changing what I thought was “productive” and gently teaching me by the power of the Holy Spirit what a “productive” life looks like with Him and how to “keep pace” with the Holy Spirit.
I was hesitant in using this phrase “keep pace” because the first thing that can spring to achievers minds is: I need to hurry up, do better, and go faster! Raise your hand if you thought that, I know I did. But what if all we know about “hurry up, strive, and achieve” was not exactly right? What if we allowed the Holy Spirit to turn that limited mindset on its side? I believe we would experience freedom.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.Romans 8:14
So today would you open your heart and mind to see things from a different perspective? We ask the Holy Spirit to help facilitate this process as I know He definitely is with my own process too.
What if instead of achieving more, hurrying more, we took a look at what the Bible says is to be our focus…
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.Matthew 22:37-38
That’s right the best thing we can ever achieve in this life isn’t (gasp) working ourselves for the cause of Christ (a healthy version of that comes later) but the first goal is to: LOVE THE LORD.
How does that change how your day would look? how would that alter your “to do” list?
What about the second command (which actually houses 2 commands)?
And the second (command) is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.Matthew 22:39
I think that we often get carried away with the “hurry up, strive, serve, check those to do’s” and fail to fill up with the main thing: the Love of God. It is only in constantly receiving this love that we can give this love both to others and to ourselves.
So to “keep pace” with the Holy Spirit– to stay in stride with the Holy Spirit– it may look a bit gentler than you and I think.
This “keeping pace with the Holy Spirit” more than likely will be a bit more slow, gentle, and restful than you first thought. It may be less of “hurry up, go go go” and more of a
“rest, recharge, soak”. If we are to continue on this journey that eventually leads us to our eternal home we got to “keep pace” with the Holy Spirit and His gentle way.
I don’t know about you but slowing down or surrendering can be one of the hardest things. I remember even as a young child fighting rest time with all I was, so much so my mom would often have to bear hug me until I finally gave in and slept. It’s something about our nature: do more, be more, have more.
But God’s nature, and through the giving of His son, He says to us, “I have done all. I am all, I have all.” And when we have Him, we can rest.
I hope this message speaks to your heart today, especially as the summer season is upon us. It is naturally a time we allow more rest and more activity alike, but in all your summer ventures may you ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in His pace this summer, which may very much in fact be a slower pace than you expected. I know it is for me!
When we slow, make room for the Lord and loving Him more fully– great adventures, avenues and doors can open for us. Things we didn’t even see on the horizon come into play in a great way. Things will emerge that will cause us to go “ah-ha! that’s why the Holy Spirit encouraged me to clear my schedule or say no to the regular hurry scurry.” We will never regret listening to the Holy Spirit and following His way. It’s the best way!
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”Isaiah 30:21
So I encourage you friend to keep gentle pace with the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to be the Guardian of your time, energy, and life and show you His paths for you this summer.
Lord, we invite you into our lives this summer. We want to hear your voice. We want to see your pathways. We make room for you. We tune our ears to the Holy Spirit and say yes to His pace, His way. Gentle our busy hearts. Still our busy minds. Help us to focus on the greatest thing we could ever do: love you with all our heart. And when we are filled with your love help us to show that love to others (as we do to ourselves). It’s going to take discipline on our part to say no to the hurry and yes to you. May your Holy Spirit gently nudge us, close doors not meant for us, and lead us on your pathways we pray. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Until next time,
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PS. Gentle pathways are some of the best adventures! The absence of hurry and “do more” allows space for the moments life is really made of. Here are a few pictures of our gentle God-led adventures over the years.