One of the most powerful practices for the Church today is examining His purposeful, unhurried rhythms, and how He lived counter to the culture of this fast-paced world.
Studying the ways of Jesus’ life on earth has led me to notice that He was never in a hurry. He knew His mission. He knew His priorities. He understood the urgency of all things. Yet, He never seemed to be rushed; instead, He trusted all things to the timing and control of His Father in Heaven (Jn. 6:38, Ecc. 3:1-8).
It is in these patterns of Jesus’ character that the Church is able to grasp part of our own responsibility to obey the Father and engage in an intimate relationship with Him. When it comes to living a life on mission in our frenzied society, maintaining closeness with God radically changes our priorities and un-hurries us. In Acts 1:4, Jesus commands His followers to wait until the Holy Spirit came for them, and upon receiving the Spirit, they were to go and do the work He charged them to do. Here we see the importance of staying in tune with the Lord, and appreciating His active role in leading us as we seek to spread the gospel. Although we may be filled with the best of intentions and an eagerness to follow after Christ, we are still instructed to patiently wait for the Lord’s guidance. In doing so, we are able to maintain a focus on Him, as opposed to potentially getting caught up in a world enamored with action.
In our flesh, it can feel natural to make a habit of filling every moment of the day with activity. However, any action utterly worth doing can be accomplished easier and more efficiently when done in His Name. Looking to Luke 5:12-16, we see a practical application through Christ in taking a step back before acting and instead looking to the Lord for guidance first. In this passage, we see Jesus heal a man from leprosy, resulting in news about Him to spread like wildfire. Before long, people began to flood to Him, desiring to be healed by the man responsible for such a powerful act. How simple would it have been for Jesus to engage each person’s needs as quickly as possible? However, what the Scriptures describe is quite the opposite. Instead, Jesus withdraws in solitude to pray, putting action on pause. Jesus understood the need for rest and proper perspective before connecting with this world. In doing so, any potential superficial act is warded off, and instead a focus on honoring the Lord and pursuing His will over our own projections or musings is maintained.
It has become common for Christians to catch ourselves becoming exhausted from “doing ministry,” only to later realize God has been asking us to wait with Him for His timing and His leading. Instead, we are made blind to this, having fallen captive to a society and culture that values the act of striving for success rather than resting with the Father in order to align our work in accordance with His vision, achieved through His assistance. We hurry off to the next thing or “need” without thinking about the implications of the present moment, neglecting to even consider if the Holy Spirit has been leading us or not. Has our hurried Christian culture made us more concerned with checking off a “to-do” list than listening for and abiding in the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
Jesus lived on mission, unhurried. He lived by trusting in the timing of His Father, teaching His disciples to do the same by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Jesus calls His Church to live in this same pattern of intentional slowness today, a rhythm that allows for rest, careful response, engagement with the Father, and times of healing.
Therefore, in our daily lives as ministers of the gospel, let us seek to know Jesus and make Him known by slowing down and modeling our lives after His. I hope we find time to truly sit still as we study the life of Jesus, which is found to be radically countercultural to the fast-paced rhythms of society. As we consider the discipline of deliberate slowness demonstrated in His life, may we live in a way that is never too busy to step away and commune with the Father, learn alongside each other, or be redirected to a new place so that we may share the truth of the gospel.
Has our hurried Christian culture made us more concerned with checking off a “to-do” list than listening for and abiding in the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
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