Word of the Week:  SLOW

This is the season of anything but slow.  Quickly we go from Thanksgiving to ringing in the new year and it all becomes a blur.  It starts with the bombardment of retail ads that shout out SALE SALE, and the mad dash begins. The endless holiday gatherings none of which you can say “no” to, because they are all good. Add church activities and holiday expectations, not just yours but family and friends too, and you have a recipe for a fast-paced, not-so-fun, exhausting and overwhelming holiday.  Is that what the Christmas season is really about?  What would Jesus say about how we are spending our time?

AH-HA Moment!

I was listening to my Focus on the Family app and they were interviewing Alexandra Kuykendall who recently released a book called Loving My Actual Christmas.  During the interview Alexandra said, “Jesus walked everywhere he went. He never ran.”  That statement grabbed my attention like a teacher saying, “pop quiz” and the wheels in my head started turning!  I felt a deep conviction over the chaos of the last few Christmas seasons, and the word SLOW surfaced in my heart.  The Holy Spirit was impressing a change I needed to make for this Christmas, and He began to remind me of Jesus’s example.

Jesus’s Example of SLOW

Reflecting back on the 4 Gospel’s (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), and Jesus’s life there isn’t a single time that Jesus runs or rushes anywhere.  He walks everywhere He goes. In fact, in John 11:1-44 we learn that Mary and Martha sent for Jesus because their brother Lazarus had become very sick.  Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, yet He was slow to come to them.  He took 3 days to make a 20-mile journey.  And in Matthew 8:23-27 Jesus and His disciples get into a boat.  Jesus goes to sleep, and a sudden storm arises.  The disciples were frantic with fear.  They were running and rushing around while Jesus lay asleep.  Then when awakened by the disciples…still Jesus doesn’t rush to fix the situation, instead He reprimands the disciples first, then He calmly calms the sea.  Jesus knows what needs to be done, where He needs to go and who He needs to see, and though He may seem slow by human understanding…He is never late! 

What Else is Jesus NOT Doing?

Jesus had so much to do…healing the sick, giving site to blind, raising the dead, training the disciples, teaching the people, and rebuking the religious authorities.  It could have consumed His life leaving Him an emotional wreck and unable to help anyone!  The key to Jesus’s success was his constant communication with Father God.  He didn’t settle for doing anything less than God’s will…meaning Jesus didn’t do every good thing that presented itself to Him…He only did the best things because He only did the Father’s will.  

“For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my will.” John 6:38

Learning from Jesus About Slow

Jesus is our example, and if He didn’t rush and run then neither should we. He was slow. Not slow in doing good, but slow in becoming consumed, anxious and doing everything that came along His path.  Jesus did the “more” important thing.  Not self-serving, but laser focused to do the best thing. Every day we are presented with many “good things” that take our time and energy, but if we want to learn from Jesus, we’ve got to be willing to say “no” to good things and only say “Yes” to the best things.  By doing this we will create space in the calendar that will allow us to slow down. 

Bask in this word with me today:  SLOW

Realize that it is unhealthy to be in a constant state of rush. It hinders us from getting the rest, exercise, and the good nutrition we need. It keeps us from experiencing meaningful relationships, and it weakens our ability to help others because we cannot see their need above our chaotic frenzy. Our hearts become closed to hearing God’s voice and we become a product of this world. 

Over the next 7 days would you ponder this word with me? Ask God to transform your Christmas season by showing you where you can slow down or cut back. Together let’s throw off the worldliness of the holidays and embrace our Savior who is the holiday…CHRISTmas!  Join me every week for One Word Wednesdays as we dive into new words that can transform our lives. To  learn more about how one word changed my life read My Story.

Are You Chickening IN Today?

Love and Hugs,

JJ