Walk Slowly

I saw something the other night as I was rushing out of the grocery store that God used to speak to me.  As I was hurrying out with my few needed ingredients, a mother and her small child (about 18-24 months) were coming into the store.  The mother was young, maybe late teens or early twenties, and most likely feeling the press for time just like I was; however, her approach to the experience was completely different and offered me a quick and powerful lesson.

While I was rushing to accomplish my tasks, this mother was slowly walking with her child.  The little boy had ahold of one of her fingers and they were going at his pace, not society’s or the clock’s, but at the speed that he could handle.  I’m sure the people behind her trying to get through the “in” door of Price Chopper weren’t appreciating it, but I did.

What a powerful reminder that others need for us to go at their pace, not our own!  God is the most patient example of this principle; I know there are plenty of times He would be justified in saying, “Come on, Peggy, this is taking you soooo long to learn.”  Instead, He patiently waits on me to figure it out, have my temper tantrum, wrestle with Him over the way we’re going to proceed, or whatever other thing I have to work out within myself before I’m willing to do it His way.

I know that I need to work on that patience with others.  I’m too prone to moving at my pace, either dragging them behind me like some sort of defunct kite or trying to pick them up and carry them so we can “get where we’re going” in a timely fashion.  The frustrating part for me is that I’m a teacher and I KNOW that learning has to be created by the learner – it can’t be forced inside – and sometimes the learning takes longer than the teacher would like.  It doesn’t do any good to encourage them to hurry or to outright give them the answer; knowledge and understanding must be constructed personally.  That’s true whether it’s learning to read or understanding God’s will.

The next time I’m in a hurry to move at what I perceive to the the “appropriate” pace, I pray that God send me another reminder that getting there fast isn’t the goal – living well for Him is.  That isn’t accomplished on my time table, rather He knows the best speed at which to proceed.

Usually I’m not a big fan of the Message version, but I love the wording in this – the unforced rhythm of grace – Matthew 11:28-30  ”Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

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