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FAITH: Putting value in the pace

Rev. Brad McKenzie

There is nothing explicit in scripture about being in a hurry, but there is plenty about waiting, being patient, and what should be evident in the life of a Christian.  It is no big secret for any of us about the American way of life being normally fast paced, usually busy, and most of time done in a hurry.  My concern continues to be the value of the pace and what is gained from the process.

I do not mean any disrespect or desire to project criticism for the great citizens of Orange and Orange County however, I personally so not see any benefit to the speed at which most of us drive and the immediate need to pass other vehicles, even on the right, when there may be a momentary pause for someone to turn, especially on our many two-lane roads and city streets.

Friends, I believe the manerr of which many of us drive is indicative of our life pace and the constant need to get somewhere.  To be honest, I was hoping living in a smaller community would lend itself to a slower pace, even on the roads, but this seems to be a farce in an age where internet speed and data transfer is one of our most important needs.  I chuckle often at the vehicle that just must pass me on MLK, which is now 65 mph in the open areas, just to sit at the same stop light with me at Hwy. 87.  What are we gaining in always going fast in life and fast in driving?

These thoughts this week are not intended to be a critique of our local driving habits, but to address the value of slowing down and engaging in the life God has given us while appreciating what we have before the thief of time comes to take his toll.

Scripture is full of instruction for being patient and still.

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14 ESV

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10  ESV

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”  Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:4-7 ESV

There is also clear instruction of how our lives should look, the fruit we should be bearing!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:22-24 ESV

I heard someone describe time this way.  Let’s say you live away from your parents like I do.  Let’s say you see your parents two times a year.  Let’s also say your parents will live five more years.  Then if all of this is true, you would only have 10 more times you would see your parents before they are gone from this earth.  Life is in a hurry enough on its own, we do not need to perpetuate it by our hurriedness.

I want to leave you all with is.  Make sure what is keeping you busy, in a hurry, and rushed is worth it.  Just like fast driving and passing on the right, is the risk worth the benefit?  I encourage all of us to not waste the time the Lord has given us by what does not matter!  Make sure your life counts!  You are Valued and Loved, Pastor Brad

Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.