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Slowing Down to Keep Going!

Most of us are not only busy.  We are too busy doing the wrong things; and often the “wrong things” we are doing are good things to do.  We have merely substituted good things and busyness for the right things.  We act out of habit, complying with the expectations of others, meeting job requirements or our egotistical vulnerability to over-commit out of a mini-messiah complex but fail to act out of faith and dependent obedience.
We can quote John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” as if it were a statement we believe yet continue a life of unrelenting busyness which leaves us drained, exhausted and unfulfilled, often haunted by the awareness that something is missing.

Recently, on a trip from the Go Now Missions interviews in Arlington, the brand new rented car I was driving flashed a signal on the dash board I had not seen before.  A directional signal indicated that I needed to exit from the route I was traveling in order to refill with gas.  The flashing signal continued with annoying repetition, counting down mile by mile to warn that I was moving toward “empty.”  In order to keep going, it would be necessary for me to stop.
Unfortunately, the indications that we are running on empty physically and spiritually are often much more subtle and easily ignored.  Traveling down the autobahn of busyness with attention on all that is going on around us, we find no time or place to slow down; and to stop seemingly would put us further behind.

We aspire to “bear much fruit” yet, in order to do so, Jesus insists that we make the counter-cultural decision to slow down, rest and listen—to “abide” in him and remain in his teaching (John 8:31-32). 

Convicted of my own addiction to busyness and knowing that my “flesh” is susceptible to the approval of others, I have recently begun more consistently to make space for God with what might be described as “many, mini Sabbaths”  (MMSS).

I deliberately find several times each day to slow down or stop—taking a few minutes to reconnect with and abide in Christ.  There are numerous ways to do this.  Here are a few:
  • In quiet reflection, repeat the Lord’s Prayer, focusing on what it would mean in your life for His kingdom to come and His will to be done.  Do this one or more times every day.
  • Meditate on a specific Scripture such as Psalm 1.
  • In quietness, allow your breathing to symbolize the inhaling of the Spirit and your exhaling to be a reminder of confession and the release of your burdens.
  • Out in nature, with eyes closed, listen and focus on what God is saying through the sounds you hear. 
  • Read Psalm 103 and list ten reasons you have to be grateful.
Other resources:
  • Adele Ahlberg Calhoun has compiled a Spiritual Disciplines Handbook which provides a treasure trove of spiritual practices which help us abide in Christ. She provides an exhaustive list of spiritual disciplines along with practical insights on how to do them.
  • “A Call for Leadership” is a monthly conference call for volunteer and part-time BSM staff which will discuss a podcast or article on Leadership Development.  From a variety of podcasts, one will be recommended so that you can listen to it and consider how the information relates to your ministry.  Sometimes there will be a study guide provided with the podcast (This is true of the Craig Groeschel podcast which will be discussed in the conference call on Wed. Oct. 26 at 2:30 pm.)
Here is what you need to do to take part in the conference call.
  1. Go to the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast, subscribe by typing in your email and listen to Episode 13 – “Leading Up” Part 2, Oct. 1, 2016.
  2. As you reflect on how “Leading Up” applies to your situation, think of your Associational Director of Missions or local pastors as individuals you may be able to influence and encourage.
  3. On Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 26, you can join the conference call by dialing 214-828-5240 and then entering the participant code 8677766 followed by the # sign.
In addition to the discussion of the podcast, those participating in the conference call will share about the success and challenges they are facing so that the participants can pray for each other.

Hope you can join us for the conference call on Oct. 26 at 2:30 pm
The BSM Staff Website is full of resource ideas, Bible Studies, up-coming events, and other material.
If I can be of help, please feel free to contact me at 512-497-3240 or drrickspencer@sbcglobal.net.
Past editions of KeySources can be found at www.texasbsmstaff.org/keysources
Copyright © 2016 Texas BSM, All rights reserved.


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