The Discipline of Slow

by DanWolgemuth on May 29, 2009

In just over a week, Mary and I will be riding in our second Elephant Rock Bike ride. We’ll be looking to cover 100 kilometers in the process. The course is rolling, and at points, challenging as we climb up and around the foothills of Colorado.

Because of some of the early and very steep hills on our route, it would be easy, at least for me, to completely exhaust myself before I’m a quarter of the way into the experience. This concern is well founded, given my tendency to compete, and a compulsion to climb hills as fast as I can possibly push myself. This is just fine on a local 20-mile ride, but it’s clearly not a good strategy when I’m working to cover a much broader and expansive landscape.

While I have long understood that it takes discipline, and at times courage to go fast, I now believe that in certain cases it takes an equal proportion of both to go slow. The conviction, and indeed the strategy to go slow seems completely contrary to my nature on so many fronts. But frankly, it’s necessary. In fact, a frantic pace is often both unhealthy and ineffective.

Jesus never operated at break-neck speed. You never read about Him racing to Galilee because He was late for an appointment. He didn’t get frustrated with the traffic and the interruptions when He was on His way to heal a 12-year-old girl in Mark 5. I don’t believe that Jesus ever drove with His emergency flashers on. He had the courage and the discipline to go slow.

If not, He misses a transformational encounter with a woman that had spent 12 years racing from one possible medical solution to the next. If not, He might have moved past a group of children that wanted a moment with Him. If not, He might have moved into an earlier trial and a premature end to His prophetic and historic call.

Do you have the courage to go slow? Not just for the practical reasons associated with a 62-mile bike ride, but in life… in living… in ministering and in being ministered to.

I’m convicted… and I’m convinced.

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