Today’s blog post is an excerpt from a friend’s latest book on spiritual disciplines that help us grow, draw us together, and send us out. The book is titled Habits for our Holiness and was written by pastor-author Philip Nation.
Philip connects spiritual disciplines to all of life in his latest book. He gives us a bigger reason – and greater desire – to pursue spiritual maturity.
As a group leader myself, I want to be ever-increasing in my understanding and application of spiritual disciplines. As I grow in maturity in Christ, I will be better able to lead, teach, and shepherd my Bible study group. Perhaps this would make a difference for you as you lead others, too.
The excerpt I chose to share today has to do with “driving in the slow lane.” I found this helpful and meaningful, and I hope you do, too, as you think about your pace of life and leadership.
Living in the suburbs, I get up and face the task of driving downtown each day of the workweek. Over the last few years, in an attempt to get ahead of traffic, I’ve awoken earlier and earlier. And earlier. But it’s been no help, because apparently everyone else in my city has done the same thing.
We all are leaving for work earlier than before in order to beat the traffic jam that we’re creating by all getting an earlier start. It is maddening.
But I found a solution. It is one that I don’t really like but it works: driving in the slow lane. Yes. I know. It sounds ridiculous. After the many attempts to rush to work and the other days spent just puttering along in the right lane, I’ve discovered a truth. I’m not saving any significant time by weaving in and out of traffic at breakneck speed… (p.117)
So what did my friend discover? Philip learned that busyness doesn’t equate to success. He learned that constantly being on the go can’t compare to the rest he and I (and you) need in the Lord. As Philip said in another place in his book, “We don’t slow down just for the sake of sanity but also for sanctification” (p.121). It is important that we build quiet, restful time into our daily routines so that we can practice what Scripture says: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Are you tired of living the proverbial “rat race”? Tired of being tired? Perhaps the discipline of resting in the Lord is one you should try this week. Make adjustments to your schedule. Sit, read, and pray. Meditate on God’s Word. Review a recent sermon you heard. Read through the Psalms or selected verses in Proverbs. Move over to the slow lane and experience the blessing of resting.
Philip Nation is the director of content development at LifeWay Christian Resources. He is also the teaching pastor for The Fellowship and assistant professor of leadership and biblical studies for Houston Baptist University. Philip and his wife Angie make their home in Tennessee with their two sons.