Slow down!

Autumn is here, at long last, and we in south central Kansas are hovering on the line between the first hard freeze and the continued suffering of allergies. Fall is my favorite season. It’s not too hot; it’s not too cold; and you have the excuse to eat a warm pumpkin-something with every meal. But it’s also a difficult season because the chill in the air and the joy of being outside brings on this desire to hang out with people, to host parties, to attend get-togethers. Fall brings this strange need to commit to more than you can accomplish. Maybe no one else experiences this, but I do. Every fall. And I don’t really have any intention of changing that because … well … that’s fall.

But even though I will probably continue to bite off more than I can chew from late September through December, today’s verse (and last night’s message at church) reminded me that one thing I don’t have to do is worry about it.

Giant tortoise at the Sedgwick County Zoo - Wichita, KS

Giant tortoise at the Sedgwick County Zoo – Wichita, KS

Today’s verse is Isaiah 64:4.

For since the world began,
    no ear has heard
and no eye has seen a God like you,
    who works for those who wait for him!

Stress makes everything worse, especially when you’re busy. But stressing out over things you can’t control is a waste of time, energy and resources. Now … if I really have said yes to more commitments than are possible, it’s my responsibility to back out of one of them, if I were honest. But I haven’t hit saturation yet (wait til Christmas gets here!).

We shouldn’t worry or be anxious. It’s tempting. Oh boy, is it tempting. But when we feel the worry creeping up on us, we need to hand it off to God. Why?

As today’s verse says, God works for those who for Him. It’s not our job to run around fixing all our own problems and trying to fix the problems that are beyond us anyway. It’s our job to wait on Him.

Our God wants to help us. Do you get that? Can you wrap your head around that concept? I can’t. It’s amazing. It’s huge. That the God who spun Jupiter in orbit, the One who filled up our oceans and invented the idea of seeds and harvest, would want to take His time and His resources and His energy and invest in my life? Wow.

There no other gods like Him.

What can our idols do? What can our petty little celebrities do? What can our vaunted politicians scrambling for national power do? What can our religious leaders do? What can you do? What can I do?

Nothing compared to Him.

So don’t be anxious. There’s no one like Him, and He works for those who wait for Him.

Don’t worry. Wait.

And while you’re waiting, enjoy life. I get so busy rushing rushing rushing that I forget to be thankful so many times. I forget to pay attention to the sun rise or the moon or the stars or the steam coming off my cup of tea or coffee. I forget to be thankful for all the awesome things He’s given me. I get so focused on what I think is important while I’m rushing that I forget to pay attention to what really matters: Him. And what He’s done for me. And being thankful.

Does waiting require that you slow down?

Yeah. But it’s worth it. Because when you slow down, life comes into perspective. And those of you who rush like crazy (like me) to accomplish things because you think you’ll run out of time, guess what? You won’t. Most of the time, if you slow down and do it right, you’ll actually accomplish more than you would have if you were rushing. Maybe when you rush through something, you’ll finish faster, but what for? So you can find something else to worry about or rush through?

No. Slow down. Stop and smell the roses. Or the coffee. Or the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin candle from Bath & Body Works (ahhhhh!).

Stop. Wait. Be thankful.

We weren’t designed to rush through life. We are made to enjoy what God has given us. So let’s enjoy it and be thankful and let Him sort out the details.

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