Posted by: mikenicholsblog | October 8, 2017

model the pace of Christ

I believe it’s been at least fourteen years since I have spoken to Matt.  Over the years, our paths have crossed due to the efforts of a mutual friend.  Matt was one of those people you always looked up to; he was successful in business, and just seemed to have things together.  Actually, the last time I remember speaking to him, he was managing over one billion dollars (now over two billion) for his clients!  But the fact that he managed lots of money and was successful has nothing to do with my positive remembrances of him.  For a period of years, we would speak sporadically—most of the time with me just getting his insight on financial matters.  When we would speak (mostly on the telephone), there was something that always affected me.  He was absolutely never in a hurry, and you would have thought that Matt had all the time in the world just to chat back and forth with me.  His company manages billions of dollars, and he has all the time in the world to speak to someone for their benefit.  It’s easy to sense when someone is anxious to end a telephone conversation. Matt never seemed to be in a hurry.

You’re probably reading this article as you begin another week.  You may already be feeling the internal pressure to move quick or finish a specific task, and you may be wondering why your life never seems to slow down.  There are people who you’ll have to correspond with today, and you’ll feel as though you don’t really have the time to genuinely listen to.  Maybe you envy a person like Matt who is successful, caring and seemingly has all the time in the world when speaking with someone.  It may be that Matt concluded that living in a hurry never helped him get ahead, so he shaped his priorities well.  But a greater example than Matt lived the principles of an unhurried life to perfection. His name was Jesus! W.F. Adams, (a mentor for C.S. Lewis) stated that:  “to walk with Jesus is to walk with a slow, unhurried pace. Hurry is the death of prayer and only impedes and spoils our work. It never advances it.”  As you start a new week, are you feeling relaxed and focused on meeting the needs of others, or stressed and fighting internal and external hurry?

One of my driving principles is to reduce the hurry that I naturally feel.   Progress has been slower than I would like, but I am certain that God’s design for me is to model the pace of Christ.  In sharing my own challenges with hurry, and search for God’s design for a less hurried life, I challenge you also to examine if the pace of your life to see if it needs re-calibrating. Being busy is not an excuse to be hurried. My friend Matt taught me that. Jesus could certainly have claimed to be busy … yet He wasn’t hurried.

An Unhurried Life, by Alan Fadling is my source for the quote mentioned above and also the words that follow.  Consider his words in the context of today and this week.  Test your hurry!

“Anger is soul hurry. Patience is soul unhurry.  Fretting is soul hurry. Peace is a soul unhurried and at rest.  I hurry when I believe deep down that God is not watching over and caring for me.  I rush to do for myself what I somewhere, deep down, believe God is failing to do for me.” (emphasis personally added)

Could it be that the real reason we tend to be impatient, rushed and internally stressed is that we are unwilling to trust God to help us accomplish our goals? I would never say I feel that way, but my actions often speak that it’s all about me and my ability … therefore I’m hurried! What about you?

I am convinced that if I called my friend Matt today, he would take all the time I needed.  I know without a doubt that Jesus gave full focus to those that needed Him at any given moment.  If you and I have that rushed feeling today, those around will know it, and we may miss the opportunity to care for them as we should.  Determine that unhurried is the best way, and trust God for the results of your work and your life.

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