STOP! 7/24/23

Have you ever felt like a gerbil running on a never-ending wheel? Many times life is a blur, moving at a speed that is difficult to keep up with. We find ourselves being swallowed up. STOP! Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Where does the time go? We all experience days that seem to fly by in our lives. We wake up, get going and before you know it, the day is over and it is time to go to sleep, get up and do it again. Where does the day go?

I look at the photos of my children and remember the times that went by all too quickly. I wonder sometimes if I spent enough time with them. I wonder if I have taught them the right way, the way of God.

We get caught up in things that seem important, seem like they need to get done, but in hindsight they were not the most important thing we could have done. I received an important piece of advice from a good friend once, “If it’s going to matter in 300 years it’s alright to worry about, if it is not don’t waste the time worrying.”

We are guilty of placing importance on things that are not truly important. We lose our priorities. We worry about things that we need not worry about. We consume our time trying to change or influence things we cannot. I am reminded of the beginning part of the Serenity Prayer;

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Knowing the things we cannot change takes wisdom. It also takes experience. We need to be at peace with the fact that everything will not be going our way. Even with that understanding we have an agenda and when it doesn’t go the way we want it to we worry about what will happen next. Jesus asked us a question:

Matthew 6:27; Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Do you know the answer? Sometimes we think we can change the events of tomorrow if we worry about them enough. Worse yet, we think we can change the events of yesterday. We can’t. The answer, no one can. So why do we do it? We do it because we have trouble believing that God really has it all under control. We sometimes think He needs some help. Stop!

Have you stopped to notice that others are watching? Do you think they wonder about our behavior? Are we really thinking about our actions? Are we really thinking about what is most important? Are we thinking about what God wants? Most times the answer is no, we are only thinking about what we believe is best for us.

God promises us that He will provide for our needs. He has it all under control. We need only to trust Him. Proverbs explains it this way:

Proverbs 3:5-6; Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

There is too much life to live to be enslaved to the rat race. Try to avoid getting so busy with things that we forget about what God wants us to do. Try to avoid getting so busy surviving that we forget to take time to look around and see what others are going through. God promises to provide what we need to survive. God wants us to focus on what others are going through instead of focusing on ourselves.

If you have put your trust in yourself and your own understanding then you will be disappointed. Even if you accomplish everything you think you want you will still be missing something. It is God and God alone that can give you abundant life. Fulfillment in life comes only through Jesus Christ. No matter what we have, what we accomplish, what our social standing is, it will be incomplete without a saving knowledge of God through Jesus.

Remember Psalm 23:1-3?

The LORD is my shepherd, I have all I need. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

It is Jesus who brings abundant life, who leads us to green pasture, who restores our soul. The promise from God is one of abundant life; a full life that has no regrets, no dissatisfaction, a life that is complete, a life that honors Him.

Do we ever want to stop and think about that? Do we want to consider what God has for us? I encourage you this week to STOP. Take a step back and review your thoughts and actions. Ask yourself, who am I living for?

Don’t get consumed by the pressure to get things done. The line of the song says, “Life’s too long to live like this.” Focus on what is truly important, what will affect eternity. Focus on the things of God. Live in such a way as to be sensitive to the leading of God.

To do this we must step off the gerbil’s wheel and stop running so fast that life is a blur. We need to slow down and let things happen. Watch for where God is working and join Him there. Don’t worry about your schedule or whether it fits. Respond in a way that shows the love of Jesus that is in your heart.

Psalm 118:24; This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.


Pastor Don

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