Do you ever notice who is driving in the fast lane?
It’s the slow people!
“Why are you driving in the fast lane going slower than the people in the slow lane?” I shout at the car in front of me. Does this guy really think he’s helping traffic? I whiz around him and press the accelerator. Rushing off. Knowing I’m late! Imagining the 50 sweet faces awaiting my arrival to sing joyful songs of Christmas celebration. What a way to start a Monday morning! I'm ashamed to say... that's how it began.
I make it to school before the bell rings.
Furled brow, swinging arms, intense focus. I am in production mode! Places to go, things to do, crunched for time. I am literally on a very tight schedule and fear that I will never get it all done. Every 30 minutes is a replay but with added dynamics and personalities! I am constantly adjusting and solving problems. Memories of the early-morning haunt me. Yet that gentle whisper reminds me once again… Breathe…slow down…relax… I’ve got this! You are my image bearer.
Once home, I received a phone call from a dear friend. I can almost see her questioning face as she tries to make sense of my side of the conversation. As I ramble on, the inflection of my voice indicates I’m wiped out, pressed for time and my brain is not functioning properly! I am now frustrated that I have not been the best image bearer and my self-worth begins to spiral downward. (Satan always attacks us at our weakest moments...well, he does me!)
I found this very interesting as I had just received a text from my first friend, checking to see how I was today. Her words were… Breathe, rest your body and mind soon. God will redeem the time!
I smiled and thought, “How like God, to remind me once again, what He has been saying the past two days!” Plus He added twice today that He would redeem the time. My thoughts shifted toward Him, my great Redeemer! In the past when I have thought of him as the Redeemer, I equated that with my salvation. And though that is true, he is also in the business of redeeming many other things. Not only does he redeem, He gives much more than we could expect or dream. Good measure, pressed down, and overflowing! Oh how loving and tender are His mercies toward me… and you!
I apologize that I had to drag you through the mud telling you all about my first three days of the week! It exhausts me again as I am re-reading and re-living those moments! I am but a sinful soul, confessing my heart before you. God continues to teach me more about His character (and about myself) as I muddle my way through every page of my life!
- Our God is a compassionate God. When he looks at me, sometimes I feel like he just shake’s His head. But he doesn’t! His heart is full of compassion toward me. He speaks tender words in my ear. Words of remembrance. Words of instruction and guidance. Words of encouragement! Sometimes those words come in the form of a sweet friend speaking truth. Sometimes they are soft whispers to my heart from the Holy Spirit. Many times they are reflections from the pages of God’s word.
- He commands me to sit down…just like the thousands He desired to feed. Sitting down requires action. The action of stopping! It's the purpose of ingesting nutrition not only for my physical body, but also for my mind and spirit. It’s called rest and replenish! He is the Great Redeemer. I believe He wants to redeem our time, our mind, and our spirit. We are His image bearer! What kind of countenance is displayed by one who is weary and spiritually malnourished? Is it a good display of the glory of God? I think not! I confess...I'm often guilty!
Sure, we are going to have days and weeks of rat race. And we should not hide behind a false smile. Instead, we should remember to breathe, slow down, and relax. He has everything under control and in his own timeframe. He’s got this! I love what one preacher said, "What is over my head is under His feet!" He shows His compassion for us by speaking to us and commanding us to sit down!
Thursday, after I finally listened and heeded His words to me, He provided… Good measure, pressed down, and overflowing! My heart rejoices! Time has slowed. We even got an extra hour this week!
It's title, Breathe by Michael W. Smith.
The Father has redeemed my time, my mind is at rest, and my spirit is renewed! May I encourage you to do the same?
I confess, it’s been a really tough week and I have not reflected your image appropriately. You have tried to remind me to breathe, relax, and slow down, but I've been too busy to listen. My days seems full of important activity. Responsibilities weigh heavy on my shoulders. Fiery darts come from every angle and have I tried to put out their flames. I get burned because many days I forget to put on your armor. Though I appear strong, I am very weak! My heart is burdened because this seems to be a repeated plea. Please forgive me for my lack of priorities and not keeping you first - even before I climb out of bed. Thank you that your mercies are new every morning. Thank you Father for your compassionate heart toward me. I am blessed by the words you speak and the fashion by which you deliver them. Help me always to bring glory to your name and bear your image with boldness, grace, and love. You are truly the air I breathe...good measure, pressed down, and overflowing...and I humbly give thanks.
In Jesus' Name, Amen
Always reminding myself to breathe!