Slow Down and Catch Up — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Slow Down and Catch Up — Morning Devotions

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from His.

By Chris WittsThursday 28 Mar 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 1 minute

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A busy man was getting quite stressed at work. It was getting too much. So he decided it was time to visit his GP. He arrived at the surgery right on time. He rushed in and he shook the doctor’s hand. “Now, look, Doc, I want to learn how to relax, but I want to relax better and faster than anyone else who has ever relaxed before.”

Interesting way of putting it. He knew what he wanted, but that’s not really what the doctor was thinking. He needed somehow to switch off and learn to relax. So how often do we stop and take time to think of the deeper issues of life? It would seem not all that often – we fill our lives with stuff every day. I’ve even heard someone say I need eight, not seven days a week to get everything done in my life. Our world encourages you and me to go for whatever is faster, newer, bigger. Get the latest smartphone. It’ll make life better.

But is that really true? We seem to crave speed. The workaholic says – “a little exhaustion that won’t hurt anybody. Others will admire me for the hard work I do. It’s worth a pat on the back.” So are you always rushed? Do you become annoyed when someone wants to talk to you? You haven’t got time and life can be full of stress and things get overcomplicated. You need to slow down our busy 21st century lifestyle. Our days are filled to the brim, and we’re overflowing.

The need for ‘slowing down’

There’s even a book out called One Minute Bedroom Stories. This is for parents who are short of time to read to their children. That is a bit of a worry. We must make adequate time for our kids. We’re all riding on that very fast train that’s travelling down a special track, gathering speed as it as it goes. Many of us want to slow down. We want to get off the train, but we’re not quite sure how to do it.

And it’s the speed. I guess some people call it an addiction to speed. The great Mahatma Gandhi was a very busy and influential man, and there’s a famous photo if you’ve seen it. The 1946 photo of Gandhi sitting on a very hot day at a spinning wheel. It was the symbol of peace and simplicity.

He knew that he needed the stillness and silence. Thomas Moore wrote a book, Care of the Soul, and said living artfully with time might only require something as simple as pausing. Yes, stopping. There’s nothing wrong with that. Take the time to have a break. Spend it with God. And if your life is full of noise and hurry, you really won’t be able to hear the gentle voice of God speaking to you. You don’t have to sit in a cathedral or a church to meet with God.

You can wait in your car for 10 minutes if that helps. Kirk Byron Jones, in his book called Addicted to Hurry, says that the result of our hurried lives is that we don’t see Him, clearly, we don’t listen carefully. We don’t think deeply. We don’t save a life fully, so the fault doesn’t lie with the time itself. We have the time God gives us all the time that we need to do everything that’s important. It’s a gift from Him.

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He gives us the time to enjoy ourselves to work, to worship, to pray, to spend time with our family, to serve and help other people. There it is. In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. It says for everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. So God does give adequate time to do whatever it is that is necessary.

Billy Graham tells the story when he was in Los Angeles as a young man doing his first round of revival meetings. His daughter Ruth had just been born, and he’d left this new baby and his wife back at home. And he was busy doing these revivals. And during these meetings, his family came to visit him. And when he saw his sister-in-law holding this new baby of his Ruth, he actually asked who the baby was. He was so busy that he didn’t even recognise his own child. Now, before we get too critical of Billy Graham, the truth is that we can all get so busy we don’t see the needs of our family and friends who are there right in front of us. We don’t see the hurt or the disappointment in the eyes of those who need us. We can get so busy that we fail to see God in all the things that are around us and the beauty of God there.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, I realise that sometimes we are too busy. We just don’t stop. Lord, sometimes we need something to really pull us up. And, Lord, may you do that for us today through something that you will do. Speak to us in our hearts. I pray for Jesus’ sake. Amen.