Have you ever noticed, God is never in a hurry?
But I am.
Anxious to get to the next thing. (Note the word anxious.)
As the true competitor I am (according to Strength Finders), if I believe I’m capable of doing something I will put all my gumption, effort, and horsepower into it, often to the point of exhaustion and sometimes complete burnout. Yeah, crazy right?
It’s called striving.
Unfortunately this tendency puts me in a quandary between what I normally do and what God calls me to do.
I try to justify my actions by asking myself the question, shouldn’t we do our best?
And the answer is an unabashed, yes!
But our best isn’t always our most.
In trying to get where I think God wants me to be, I bound forward like a bucking bull trying to break loose from a stall and the striving begins.
But God doesn’t ask us to strive so much as He asks us to persevere.
I find myself in seasons where I’m caught between these two words. These two worlds.
Striving and perseverance.
They are completely different yet when set in motion they can be confused.
I had great plans of taking a break in August….
I recently returned from a writers/speakers conference, She Speaks—a mountain top experience with 800 women worshiping together with one purpose in mind, to serve God. However, the juicy content of the break-out sessions wet my taste buds to the point where I came home with a bazillion new ideas and a mammoth to-do list— ready to hit the ground running.
So much for the August sabbatical!
Every part of my being wanted to rest but the thought of getting behind on these new projects taunted me. I mean, shouldn’t I be doing my utmost to get a message out that people need?
But then I caught myself and thought, getting behind….behind who? Who has set my timetable?
I then sat down and defined these two words—striving and perseverance and what they accomplish.
What it is:
… a battle
… swimming up stream
… making strenuous efforts
… it’s going for the jugular (dictionary definition)
What it does:
…causes one to compare
…wears one out
What it is:
… steady persistence
What it does:
…helps one stay focused
…keeps one going
…builds character strength
So how do we reconcile the these two words—two worlds? How do I reconcile this pursuit to get things done with the pursuit to get this one thing right?
With another word.
Pace is a rate of movement. Tempo. Progress. A single step even.
Pace stands in the gap between striving and perseverance.
And how do we set the right pace for any given journey?
With God’s help.
I have to remind myself, with God, time is not an issue. He created it, can change it and has full rule over it.
If God has determined my destination timetable for a particular journey (and I believe He has) no amount of striving will get me there faster. I’m only spinning my wheels when I try.
When I strive.
But rather if I can persevere, steady as she goes, at a pace God has set for me, one foot in front of the other. Walking through doors of God ordained opportunities, I will get where I need to be when I need to be there—on time. God’s time. All without being worn out, wearing someone else out and without anxiety, jealously, with priorities intact.
That’s a pulse I can live with. Amen.
Do you know your pace for the race you’re running?
Congratulations to Jen, for winning last week’s contest and winning a copy of Breaking Up With Perfect by Amy Carroll.
Looking forward, pressing on and seeking God in every bump and twist in the road.