PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE—What I’m NOT Doing This Christmas

By on December 1, 2014
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By Robert Green

There is a very real problem and it’s only getting worse. I blame other people for this problem. It adversely affects me, and millions of others. The problem: people driving in the left or “passing” lane despite the fact that they are not passing. Clearly, they have never passed anybody ever.

Plodding in the passing lane, lingering in the left lane, they are clogging up the transportation arteries of our nation. What do you do when these problem people slow you down? Pass them on the right and glare? Get behind the problem driver and flash your lights? Honk your horn until the driver looks in the rearview mirror and sees you making suggestive, helpful hand motions?

There is an inner psychology of speed. Something in us pulls us in the direction of saving time, maximizing efficiency, hurrying through life, cramming more into every hour, stretching to the breaking point. We eat faster, move faster, talk faster, and when listening, nod faster to encourage the talker to accelerate. The world is moving from a “big-eat-the-small” to a “fast-eat-the-slow” one.

A counselor told me this week, “Burnout used to be something found in people in their 40s and 50s. Now I’m seeing men and women in their 30s, and even 20s.”

Hyper stress, I’ve been reading, isn’t good for us. It’s not good for the circulatory system, immune system, digestive system, or cardiovascular system, but we can’t seem to get it out of our system.

I want this Christmas season to be one marked by what I’m NOT gonna do.

I want LESS fast and MORE slow. Fast is busy, controlling, aggressive, hurried, analytical, stressed, and shallow. Slow is calm, receptive, still, intuitive, unhurried, patient, and reflective.

The smallest setback, the slightest delay, the merest whiff of slowness can provoke vein-popping fury. All the things that bind us together and make life worth living—community, family, friends—thrive on the one thing we never seem to have enough of: TIME.

All four Gospels show us a Savior who took time to be with the One who centers his soul: Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42; and John 6:15.

 

After he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on a mountainside himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone. Matthew 14:23
Very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35
At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. Luke 4:42
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. John 6:15

 

Refreshingly, this draws me into a different and better way.

Robert Green is the senior pastor at Fondren Church. Contact him at robert.green@fondrenchurch.com.