I got to spend a week in the Mission District of San Francisco last week, taking a class for my Doctor of Ministry degree. The class was about how to practically live out the teachings of Jesus, starting with our own lives as spiritual leaders.
One of the assignments started on a hill, and gave us over 2 hours to walk a distance that would normally only take 20 minutes. We were put in groups, but asked not to talk much with each other. We were to slow down and listen and smell and see where the Holy Spirit was at work in the neighborhood. We were also to eat at three places along the way, talking with people. It was an amazing experience – not only for the food (which was very tasty), and not only for seeing the Lord at work (which was powerful), but also for the PACE of the experiment – I don’t think I have EVER taken over 2 hours to go a 20 minute distance.
So often I am too concerned with efficiency and productivity. I don’t want to be lazy, and I see myself as working for the Lord. But perhaps I have been so consumed with work efficiency that I have missed part of the call of Jesus – who was interruptible, didn’t seem to be in a hurry, had time for the hurting, and called His followers not to worry (Matt 6:25ff). I don’t tend to worry much, but I often do life at a frantic pace. In my own desire to “do a good job”, I have missed the rhythm of the mission; I have fallen out of pace with Jesus.
Have you ever experienced the rhythm of the mission, the cadence of being in step with Christ? When I have moved at His pace, a lot less gets done that I would want – but a lot more gets done than I realize. When I move at His pace, things are a bit less organized (I am a bit of a neat and organization freak), but lives are impacted much more. When I move at His pace, I am rested and work well; I feel His strength and life flowing in me and through me. I also find myself smiling more and having a lot more fun.
The professor of the class asked us to reflect on the experience – and prodded us with the question, “Do you actually believe that Christ’s pace of life is more life giving?”
Do I actually believe that? Do I believe that enough to put it into practice daily?
I want to. I do. I need more work and accountability and practice to truly live it out in my life.
How about you?
Let’s follow Jesus.