Slowing Down the Rush

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“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (NIV) Matthew 7:24

Trams and subways make me nervous. The door shuts itself and you are in or out. No changing your mind. I prefer having a human who doesn’t want to squish me controlling the door.
Even escalators give me mental anguish. So much pressure to decide on that first step, strategically making sure your foot placement is flat on the step, not on the crack (Picture Will Farrell in Elf – minus the green tights, that could be me).

Timing is everything.

There are days when I am praying for God to show me someone to help, someone to show his love to during the next 24 hours, and then I get right back to doing the next thing on my schedule and I go to bed surprised that I wanted so badly to help someone, but God didn’t show me.

I was thinking there would be this one, divine opportunity that was going to be blatantly obvious and I would jump right on that kindness tram and get it done. It just never seemed the right time to jump on.

The timing was off.

I think maybe God just wants me to walk.

Rather than trying to hurry to get to the next thing, and waiting for a huge sign from him, I think He might just want me to take a walk and look around. I know there are people hurting in my life. They could use something from me. There are people who are discouraged, and a kind text or even a card in the mail could make a difference for a few minutes. Maybe a kind word to a stranger in a grocery line.

But I have to slow down.

I need to take a few minutes and listen to the woman at my church telling me about her grandson’s struggle, without trying to wrap that conversation up in case I need to be doing something else. She needs to know that I care and that her feelings are valid. I do, and they are.

I need to focus on the middle school girl as she shows me yet another anime drawing she did on the weekend. She matters. She needs to know it.

I do think there are often times God will point us in the direction of someone who could be blessed by us, and tell us specifically what we need to do for them.

But there are also opportunities we have been given instructions for long ago. Our Bible is full of ways to to help.

Have you ever told your child something like, “You haven’t brushed your teeth? I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you to do that. You know you are supposed to be doing that daily.”

God must feel that way with me sometimes. “You haven’t helped the poor? I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you to do that. You know you are supposed to be doing that daily.”

And He’s right. He has already told each of us to help the poor (Matt. 5:42), to help orphans and widows (James 1:27), to encourage those who need it(1 Thes. 5:11), to care for those who are sick, in prison, hungry, thirsty, or who need clothes and shelter (Matthew 25:31-40).

If we slow down the rush, and keep our eyes open, we can see needs everywhere, and we can do our part.

So join me today. Instead of rushing through our days, waiting for that one, “Do this right now!” opportunity, look around. See the people, see the need, and be available. God can bless our small acts way more than we can imagine.

About Jen Chapman

She is a wife to Shawn for 20 years and counting, and a mom to Noah, and together they live out their story in their tiny town of Barboursville, WV. She is a freelance writer and a blogger at girlmeetsgrace.com. Flowers, bookstores, and people are what make her smile. She has seen God’s grace redeem her big-time and wants everyone to know it and experience it for themselves. She wants more than anything to give praise and honor to Jesus, and point people to Him.

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