Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matthew 6:34)
It is really hard for me to slow down. For whatever reason, I’m constantly thinking, moving, teaching, preaching, working, and doing everything at break-neck speed. Every moment is spoken for. There is no room for spontaneity, no room for empty space, no room for silence, and certainly no room for rest. It’s not only become a habit, or a modus operadi (MO), but it has consumed me. It has largely become, well, who I am.
I recently had a bout of sleeplessness because of having so much on my mind. I was frustrated because my sleeplessness was counterproductive. I was wasting time just laying there awake. So I made use of my inability to drift into sleep by reading. “Yes, even the middle of the night must be productive!,” so my habit told me.
While reading in the silent, low lit hotel room, I felt convicted of the need to slow down. Conviction didn’t come through anything in particular that I read, but just having a quiet moment, no media, no writing, just restfully reading, waiting for Him to say something. “Slow down,” He whispered. The Holy Spirit convicted me. My pace, the load I’m carrying isn’t good. In fact, it is boarding on sinful (aren’t you glad, by the way, that the Holy Spirit convicts our hearts out of love?). It’s considered sinful because productivity has become an idol. It has taken the place of personal intimacy and quietness with God.
Aren’t you glad that he wants quiet, intimate moments with us? Aren’t you glad that he wishes for us to rest? This is largely what is behind the command to sabbath. A natural part of the sin nature that so much defines us is restlessness, worry, anxiety, a consuming obsession for control.
In light all of this, I’m beginning to realize that often times it is in the subtleties of things that life is found. It’s in the details. The sounds, the smells (the good smells), the colors, the normal conversations. If one’s heart is in the right place there is a sacredness to be found in the midst of the small things. There’s something deeply personal and intimate woven into the fabric of our everyday existence. In the heart of it I think God is saying, “I’m here. I’m with you. Take notice.” We get so busy working for him, serving him, that I’ve missed that sacredness of subtlety.
I’m looking to create a new habit, to find a new MO. I’m looking not to meet God in the rare climatic moments of great ministerial success, but to meet him in the subtle climactic moments of, well, everything.