Ready, Set, Go!
It was a brisk winter morning and my youth group and I just finished packing, ready to head down the mountain from a weekend retreat. After three days of seeking the Lord, hiking, snow-fights, and junk food we were all pumped to head back home to live out what we just learned on the mountaintop. So we all jump into our cars, and of course I was rocking an old school volvo wagon…and we head off! As we begin to descend down the mountain I place all my energy focusing on the road because a car full of off-tune singing youth kids, an old school volvo, and a steep curvy mountain is beginning to sound like a horror movie thats about to happen. As I continue down the mountain I notice my speed continues to pick up and the curves on the road start to get sharper so of course I start to brake to keep a slower pace. I know I’m not suppose to ride the brakes so I begin a routine of speeding up, breaking, speeding up breaking! By the time we are almost half way down I begin to smell something penetrating the interior of our car. It smells like burning rubber mixed in with someone cooking of bacon! I wasn’t sure what was going on or if one of the kids in the backseat had a special gift of hospitality and decided to bring an easy bake oven and cook us up some good ol home made car breakfast! But then it suddenly hit me!!! My breaks were going out!!!!
Your probably wondering…”what happened? are you guys alright?”. Well thank God 3 kids survived…I’m just kidding! I was able to pull over to the side and use the ebrakes and called the owner of the volvo to help us out and we made it safely down the mountain by shifting gears instead of riding the break!
As the holiday season approaches things seem to just speed up! We begin to tell ourselves, “wow, its already december!”. In actuality holidays do not really speed our lives up they just simply remind us of our already fast pace! From January to December we are carried by the momentum of our actions just like a car going down a steep mountain. At times its our goals and dreams that push us to race forward and other times it just day-dreaming through life that causes each month to become a blur. If you are someone who feels like life is going way too fast and you’ve been trying to slow down. Take a minuet to stop, sniff, and smell the burning rubber mixed with someone cooking bacon because your about to burn out!
If you ever read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) in the bible you can see Jesus and his crew are always on a mission. They went from town to town, meet various people, accomplished so much in a span of 3 years! But if we are not looking we can miss an important key to the whole equation, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35) This is only one of many accounts where we see Jesus taking time to rest. It is also what I like to call “Checking Your Speed.” We see Jesus always checking his speed, making sure his pace was just right and not going to fast where you burn out your breaks any sharp turn can run you off the road.
Here are 3 checkpoints that will help you continue the journey without burning out your brakes!
1. Check Your Speed
First of all we have to check our speed! Sounds simple right? But it is something we hardly do. Most of our problems when trying to reach a destination start with our speed. For some we are hesitant to step on the gas and we can get stuck with the engine running but remaining in the parking lot. For others we have taken the first step of getting out of the lot but we only stay in 1st – 2nd gear and stall sporadically. And lastly many of us have a destination in mind and we think we need to reenact a scene from 2 Fast 2 Furious and put the pedal to the medal. How fast or slow are you going? Are you pushing or it lagging it? The main thing we need to remember is there is a gear for every situation. Which leads me to the next checkpoint.
2. Learn How to Shift Gears
Every destination starts with our gear in park, then to idle, then we switch to 1st gear (First gear is hard for any beginner, trying to figure out the right combination of the clutch and the gas), 2nd gear and so on! For us to reach our destination and keep going for the whole journey we must make sure we are in the right gear for the situation. What gear are you in today? Should you shift up or down to match your momentum?
3. Do not ride your brakes
And lastly, Do not ride your brakes!! When we hit our God-given stride everything seems to go our way! Every light on the road turns green, you begin to pass up cars and car seems to just move to the side to give you your own lane. Momentum is on your side. At this stage there can be a tendency to slow down because we never hit this speed before and it can be scary. But if we try to stop or slow down the call of God on our lives we can burn out our brakes and lose control! Is there an area in your life you are riding your brakes?
So as we end 2009 and begin 2010 let us examine our lives and make sure we check our speed, learn how to shift gears, and not to ride our brakes! Ready, Set, Go!!!