“Follow Me”

by DanWolgemuth on April 29, 2022

As I journeyed through the concluding pages of “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry”, John Mark Comer, the author of the book, invoked these words from the Apostle Paul…

“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business…” (1 Thessalonians 4:11, NLT)

A quiet life. After Comer spends pages and pages highlighting where the noise was in my life, an invitation to quiet. An inspired and “God-breathed” invitation.

Then, an author’s perspective on what a quieter and slower pace in life might look like. Twenty ideas for slowing down. Practical concepts that the author adopted.

Here are the first three items on Comer’s list of twenty…

     1.   Drive the speed limit.

     2.   Get into the slow lane.

     3.   Come to a full stop at stop signs.

I’m serious.

And so I decided that for a short experimental period, I would try this. Not as a deeply rooted spiritual conviction, but as an attempt to quiet my life a bit, particularly in one of the most stress producing areas of my existence… driving… traffic.

And so, for the last two months, with slightly less than legalistic compliance, I have done my best to bend my will to these three “slowing techniques”.

Sixty days later I have two over-arching observations. First, driving at the speed limit only slightly alters the “estimated time of arrival”. As someone who loved to use the initial ETA projection as a goal to be obliterated, this took some adjustment. But much to my surprise, lane-shifting, speed pushing, short cut pursuing only saves a few minutes… and it likely shortens life expectancy.

The other, more disappointing and convicting observation I would draw is this… when you drive the speed limit; I mean, on I-25, when it says 65, you set your cruise on 65. Period. On Arapahoe Road when it says 40… gulp, you set your cruise on 40. Seriously. When this happens, you will infuriate the driving public that surrounds you. Or more specifically, that goes flying past you with screams and hand gestures delivered. This happens even though I do my best to stay in the slow lane as I avoid holding up others who haven’t read the book yet. Yes, anger, fury and a general distain.

And here’s the kicker… I drive a 2019 Ford Edge ST with a twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. It’s the hottest car I’ve ever owned. This isn’t an issue of not having enough power, it’s a matter of self-control and humility.

In the end, following the rules will often make you unpopular. Potentially the object of wrath.

I’m convinced that we have become so addicted to our own speed limits, our own ethics, our own way of living life, that when someone gets in our way, simply by doing what’s right, they are quickly dismissed as outdated, obnoxious, rude or worse.

Is it possible, that long before cruise control, speed limits, and slow lanes… the fury that Jesus caused was anchored in the fact that He was committed to doing His Father’s will, in His Father’s way. He let God establish the speed and He calibrated His life in obedience.

It angered, offended, and provoked everyone who had adjusted the speed limit to their own liking.  This wasn’t a speed trap by a cosmic policeman, it was a completely new way to live and love and serve.

In contrast, His new pace and rhythm were liberating to those whose lives were in the ditch.

“Follow me”. That’s what Jesus said. His speed is my speed. His lane is my lane.  When He says stop, I’m on my brake.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18–19, ESV)

All that to say… I still have so much to learn about following Jesus.

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