2018 Focus: Pace

Eugene Peterson uses a phrase in his translation of Matthew 11:28-30 that is one of my favorites. Jesus’ invitation comes out this way:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Unforced rhythms of grace.

Quietly meditating on this phrase, the word pace bubbled up.

I tend to live my life at one of two paces: frenetic or sloth. I’m either going 90mph or not going at all. And typically, I end up having to go the speed of light because I’ve spent too much time ambling along. And I’m sure that may come as a surprise to those who only think I’m the blur rushing by them—I’m a very private turtle.

This dichotomy of pace has resulted in being labeled a procrastinator. I find that to be such a pejorative term. I just work best with a deadline.

There was a time when I was not considered for a position because I owned how “organization” is not one of my natural strengths. I can do organization—I just have to focus and be intentional. I can make charts and checklists. I know the value of a calendar (and looking at it). I also know how to put reminder alerts in my phone.

In Meyers-Briggs language, I’m a very strong P: I fly by the seat of my pants and my sock draw would drive most people crazy—it does me at times.

So am I going to remain a slave to my personality and wiring? Only if I want to.

The invitation of Jesus quoted above overflows with hope: Learn. I can be taught. I can overcome. I do not have to stay the same.

And neither do you.

Let’s look to him and learn a new pace. A new rhythm of living. A rhythm of grace.

 

Book Review: The Message 100 Devotional Bible

Book review. Message 100.jpg

Each time a new Bible is printed, the question that typically gets asked is, “Why?” Do we really need another Bible?

In our Twitter crazed, cut to the chase world, it’s not easy to convince people to take or make the time to study a book that’s centuries old. They struggle just maintain a 30 second devotion—how will they ever commit to 30 minutes?

Enter The Message 100 Devotional. Readers are invited to partake of a story: the Story of God. The point, of this devotional, according to the introduction, is to draw the reader in, right into the unfolding Story of God.

At the beginning of each reading there is an intro or explanation. They are inviting and encouraging. They seemed conversational and I liked them.

Many are looking for a new and fresh way to read scripture, and The Message 100 provides both. Reading out of the traditionally presented order is challenging. It’s enough of a jolt to push the typical Bible reader out of their familiar rut.

People often resolve at the start of the year to read the Bible all the way through, but burn out by the end of March. The beauty of this format is that readers will be almost done at the end of three months. A double accomplishment! Not only will they have realized a goal, but they will also gain knowledge and growth in their faith.

That’s a win-win in my book!

I highly recommend this Bible devotion.

I was given a copy of the The Message 100 in return for an honest review.

 

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