Do you ever look at the diary and think ‘I’m not sure how I’m going to manage all the demands or find the time needed for everything this week!’ Sometimes when we look ahead at a busy week, we can rush into things trying to ‘get ahead’ or at least ‘stay on top’ of things. Well, there is something that the Lord wants to teach us about walking with Him and the ‘unforced rhythms of grace’ Matthew 11:28 The Message.
In any week there are all the things I have to do, like my employment hours, and the things that are needed for life, and then there are all the things that I feel I ‘ought’ to do, ‘should be doing’, or ‘must do’. Life can feel like a gallop through a forest – going far too fast, rather than a walk along a hillside with time to stop and enjoy the view. Enoch ‘walked with God’, Genesis 5:22-24, but then he didn’t have constant demands coming at him via our modern technology. Nor did he have the transport that would have enabled him to travel from one place to another, from one demand to another, in minutes.
Without doubt our lives today are crammed. There are so many possibilities for our precious time, things that we have to do, things that we want to do, and things that we feel we ought to do, that it is very easy to overstretch ourselves and then feel very out of sync with our own bodies, but more importantly, out of sync with the Lord.
Rushing at things, I have discovered to my cost, is never the answer. I make mistakes, forget things, have to do things over again, and even if I do take short cuts and finish something quickly so that I can move onto the next thing, it feels less than satisfactory. There is always that feeling at the end of the day, ‘well I made it but I could have done lots of things better’. To be able to ‘walk’ through a day at a steady pace, giving time and attention to people and things, is so much more satisfying.
Thanking the Lord at the beginning of the day, for that day and all that is going to be done, slows us down in our heads. It stops us from rushing at life, allows us to ‘make more haste, less speed’ as the old adage goes. Taking time to pause and thank the Lord during the day, for the known and unknowns of that day, enables me to hear His wisdom, His voice, saying “ leave that now”, “trust me for that”, “ get on with that phone call now”, “ask ……… to help you with that” etc.etc.
Taking a moment, and deliberately thanking the Lord for His presence with me, keeps me travelling through the day at His pace, which so often feels so much slower than the pace at which I think I should be moving. Taking those moments to pause and thank Him, especially when I feel under pressure, enables me to move at what is ultimately a more productive and fruitful pace.
Even more importantly, thanksgiving keeps me close to the Lord, so that I am not derailed by the unexpected demand or interruption to the day, which is always a challenge if the day already feels over full. Taking a moment to thank God when an unexpected demand arises, allows the Holy Spirit to remind me that ‘As your day is, so shall your strength be’. Deuteronomy 33:25. That same verse in the NASB is translated ‘ According to your days, so will your leisurely walk be’. I think that is a good one for me – may be for you too?
So this week, let us start our days and sprinkle them with those pauses, those moments of thanksgiving, and I think we will be surprised at how much we achieve when we walk with Lord who says to us again and again ‘Come to Me. Get away with and work with Me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:28. The Message.