Thursday, March 21, 2013

35 Miles and Hour

          I have a led foot. I speed, sometimes I don’t even realize I am speeding until I see a cop car coming and look down at my speedometer. I back off the accelerator and do my best to go the posted speed limit. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a cop car come up over the hill toward us as we are rushing through our days? Reminding us to check our speed and slow down to the posted speed limit? The other day, my daughter and I and her boyfriend were driving in the car and another car sped past us in a 35 mile an hour zone. Her boyfriend made the comment that the person driving needed to slow down before he killed someone. As I thought about this, I realized that I too need to slow down in my own life; I needed to take my foot off the accelerator and check my speed, I too was going over the posted speed limit of my life. 
For many years I have been speeding down the Interstate of “Doing”. I have sped through this and sped through that, packing my days full so that time is not ever on my side. Sometimes, I need a warning sign to check my speed. For us Christians, we do have a warning sign. Our Father in heaven sends His cop car toward us to remind us to slow down and go the posted speed limit. What is that posted speed limit you ask? Isaiah 26:3.
 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
 When we find ourselves frantically trying to run here and there, are we at peace? When we find ourselves worried and hurried, are we in perfect peace? Perfect peace is a promise from the Lord God, He wants us to slow down and take our foot off the accelerator of our lives. Time is given to us by God, we have to learn to slow down and drive 35 miles an hour, every day.
Peace is a word that we all seek, yet as wives, mothers, servants and sisters of the Lord we find less and less of. When my children were young it seemed like my days were on overdrive, and some days I just wanted them to be on cruise control, so I could sit back and rest. As they grew and became teenagers, I thought that would slow things down, but all that did was make me speed even more. Now that they are grown and flying the nest, finally, I think to myself that I can slow down, I can drive 35 miles an hour and be okay doing it. But that is not the case either. I find that instead of doing and going for my kids, I am now doing and going for every other reason I can find. This causes the warning signs to appear, and if I am not careful, His Perfect Peace is going to pull me over and give me a ticket!
Ladies, can I urge you today to check your speedometer? We move at such a hurried and fast pace today. We run here and there, we try to fit into our days more than is necessary, and if we do not check the warning signs, we are going to crash. I know this to be true, because I have crashed and burned more than once in my life. I see so many women packing their days with more activities, with more things to do than is humanly possible. I have been so full of things to do that I have prayed for the Lord God to make time stand still so that I can get them all done. But was I in perfect peace? Was my mind stayed on Him? No, and what I ended up doing was burning out, crashing my car into someone else’s and hurting us both. Let’s take the warning sign and not speed through our lives. How do we do that, you ask? Easy, we allow the Lord to keep us in perfect peace, by keeping our minds stayed on Him.
Perfect peace means no inner turmoil, there is no frantic or frenzied activity, no anxiety or worry, no running here and there and everywhere, and there is no desire to be in control of the events taking place in your day. Perfect peace means that there is an inner quietness in your being. How many of us can say we have that experience every day? When I read the definitions of perfect peace, I had to ask “how do I get that?” I am sure all of us are asking that same question. It is really quite easy how the Lord keeps us in Perfect Peace, when we allow Him to.
To allow the Lord to keep us in perfect peace, we must first keep our minds stayed on Him. This means that we lean and rest upon Him. We trust Him to organize and plan our day for us. We allow Him to lead us through what He has for us today. He knows the amount of “to do’s” that you have, and if you were honest with Him and yourself, you would realize that most of the “to do’s” are not really that important. It is much easier to speed than to go the speed limit. (I would know!)
First, we must ask the Lord what we have assigned to ourselves that needs to go away. Are you serving in multiple ministries, finding yourself feeling burdened more than you are joyful? If so, than ask the Lord to show you which ones you need to let go of, this can be hard for us “Martha’s” out there, but believe me when I say that the Lord God will raise someone up to take your place. You are not the only one whom the Lord God uses to bless others, and you are not the only servant in your church. Write down all the areas that you are needed. Perhaps your children are involved in multiple activities, such as soccer, baseball, dance, gymnastics, and so on. Does the Lord God want your children to be involved in multiple activities? Are they happy or do they feel hurried and rushed like you do to get there?               
I am going to bunny trail for a minute and share with you an opinion I have about something (this is merely my opinion; you can take it or leave it). What are we teaching our children when we allow them to get involved in multiple activities? We are teaching them that hurried activity and filling our days with too much is stressing, and leads us away from the peace that God desires for us to have. We should be teaching our children to slow down and enjoy the life that God has given us, but instead, we pack their days full with things that perhaps the Lord God does not want them to be involved in. Just a thought from a mom who has been there and now sees her children doing the same- speeding and packing more into their trunks than they should.
Secondly, we must keep our minds stayed upon the Lord God. When you start to feel frantic, when your day begins to get fuller and fuller, when the phone starts ringing and people are asking you for favors, learn to say “No”. This was a hard one for me; I am the first one to say yes. But, over the years the Lord has shown me that I have to step aside and let someone else receive the blessing too. If I am always doing it, if I am always saying yes, then I am not giving someone else the opportunity to serve Him. When that phone rings, ask the Lord if this is what He has for you, if He says yes, He will give you the time to do it. But if He says no, then say no graciously, and pray with them for someone else to come alongside and help.
            Was Jesus ever in a hurry to get somewhere? Was He ever in a rush? No, He knew that time was the Lord’s and it was given to Him to do what God the Father had called Him to do. The same amount of time in one day is given to all of us. We must allow the Lord God to keep us in perfect peace, we must allow things to go away and let things go. We must lay our days out before the Lord and learn to slow down and do the speed limit. If we don’t heed the warnings, we are going to crash and end up hurting ourselves and others. Slow down, my sisters, is it really that important that you must speed to do it? Keep your mind on Him, who desires to keep you in perfect peace. He will guard your day and keep watch over you, your commitments and obligations, your responsibilities and service to Him will be more enjoyable if we could just check our speed and slow down. You are only promised today; let’s not waste it by speeding through it. Let’s check our speed and slow down to 35 miles an hour.