by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? But you say, ‘I can’t help it. I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.” (Jeremiah 2:25, MSG)
I tend to be wound a little tightly; ever notice that? It is common for people to tell me to slow down, which admittedly is hard. Honestly, this is why the call to rest throughout Scripture is so meaningful to me.
I recently experienced something that illustrated just how hard it can be for me to slow down. I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, and realized if I bumped the playback speed up to 1.5 times from normal, I could listen to a one-hour program in about 40 minutes. This saved me a great deal of time, enabling me to listen to more great content. In the beginning it was difficult, but after adjusting, it felt natural. A couple days later, I listened, but wasn’t in a hurry, so I bumped the speed back down to normal. It felt so weird, I decided to bump the speed back up. When I tried to slow down, it felt so unnatural that I had to speed back up.
There are reasons we speed up in life, and not all of them are good. All too often, we find ourselves trying to be a slave to the clock, productivity, and other peoples’ expectations. As a result, we take shortcuts and end up living at an unnatural pace, trying to achieve unnatural results. We just cannot keep up that type of pace, but that doesn’t mean we do not try, does it? I know I am guilty…how about you?
Today’s Bible verse from the prophet Jeremiah speaks to the tendency we have as humans to try and get ahead of God. This verse comes from a larger section where God is chastising his people for trying to take shortcuts, hurry up to get ahead of His timing, and invariably making their life situation worse. God calls out their idolatry, and causes us all to think about how frequently we worship our own small alien gods as opposed to slowing down and being faithful to the One who is the beginning and the end of all.
God told His people all those years ago to slow down, take a deep breath, and quit hurrying. He knows that lifestyle is exhausting, and the longer you live in such a way, the worse of a life it makes. You might be inclined to say you can’t help it, because you’re addicted to the little alien gods in life, but that’s no way to live. Learn from the One who made you you, and seek ways to get the most out of life. It might feel unnatural, but I think you’ll be glad you did.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for loving me. Please forgive me the many times I try rushing through life, leaving myself exhausted and unable to experience your peace and peace. Help me to end my worship of the little alien gods in life, so I may find my beginning and end in you. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.