The Whiteboard

Time to Slow Down

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30, NIV

We all know we live in a fast-paced society. People walk fast, talk fast, eat fast, and drive fast. We hear, “I gotta run!” on a regular basis. So many people I know are “busy.” Too busy. We seem to have more to do than we have time. Our culture can be characterized by activity overload, choice overload, commitment overload, information overload, fatigue overload, media overload, hurry overload, technology overload, and work overload.

In our culture, our value is often determined by what we do. But, we must remember that who we are is more important than what we do. What we do matters, but who we are matters more.

Even as Christians, and especially as Christian educators, we can be so busy “doing” for God that it overshadows us “being” with God. Sometimes, the amount of activity in our lives is more than our souls can sustain because our souls lack quality time to rest with God. Even Jesus made time to be with His Father. Likewise, we need time to be with our Father.

However, I realize setting aside time is not always easy.

When I was single and in full-time vocational ministry, it was a challenging discipline to make time for what some call “contemplative spirituality” (or slowing down to be with God). Now, being married with young children, it is an even greater challenge! 

Regardless of our circumstances, there are days when rest seems like a luxury we cannot afford. But in the long run, we cannot afford not to rest, physically or spiritually.

I have read multiple testimonies about the great benefits associated with the integration of contemplative spirituality and emotional health among Christian leaders. In each of these instances, when the individuals dedicated time to rest with God, they experienced a resurgence of the power of Christ in their lives—true transformation. 

If we hope to transform our schools with God’s love and truth, we must experience a personal transformation through the resurgence of the power of Christ in our lives. Transformation that can only occur when we slow down and spend time with Him.

Marc Maddox is the Associate Pastor at Christ the King Vineyard Church in North Olmsted, Ohio where he lives with his wife and two kids. He is a graduate of the Vineyard Leadership Institute and the Ohio State University. He has been serving in vocational ministry for 17 years.

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