Who Sets the Pace?

exerciseSeveral fellow bloggers quickly declared their 2013 word as the ball dropped on this new year. For a decade mine was Surrender. What can I say, but I’m a slow learner.

For the last two years His word for me was Wait. That was hard, too, as patience has never been my virtue. I prayed for my 2013 word, hoping I was done with Wait.

I climbed into bed and opened my Message Bible for a close-of-day devotional. I finished Acts last week and moved into Romans, quickly skipping through the first two chapters without pause. But I couldn’t move beyond Romans 3. The undertow of  Romans 3:27-28 pulled me back as I repeatedly tried to push into the next chapter.

We finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting Him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade. (Romans 3:27-28, The Message)

This year, God gave me a phrase. Let Me set the pace. After waiting for two years and now that I’m moving again, God wants me to let Him set the pace? He certainly knows my Achilles heel! My thoughts retreated to an earlier exercise routine.

“Lower your knees. We’re starting to cool down.” My exercise video friend warned that we approached the end of our workout.

After the millionth time together, I’d memorized the routine. With my eyes peering somewhere outside the window, I lost my concentration on the exercise. I heard — but didn’t hear — her voice. I saw — but didn’t see — her march. My thoughts already ran to the next things — what I would wear to work, the communication I needed to craft for my group, and how best to arrange my new desk and bookcases in the study.

As my thoughts raced ahead, so did my excitement. As my excitement raced, so did my pace. I marched to my own beat. By the time I re-focused, I was four or five steps ahead of my video trainer. She slowed while I speeded forward. If we had been in a parade, I would have marched right past her.

That’s what happens when I take my eyes off  of Jesus, too, and head toward what I think needs to be done. Then, before I know it, I’m neither in synch nor on pace with Christ.

So, I ponder the phrase God gave me this year. And brace myself for lessons ahead. The ones that teach me to acknowledge He is in charge. To let Him set the pace.

What word has God given you this year?

©2013 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.


About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
This entry was posted in Letting Go, Listening to God and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Who Sets the Pace?

  1. Gloria,
    Forget the past, embrace the new decade I am about to journey to. I will turn 70 this year and I know there are many changes up ahead…but I embrace them with these thoughts…theses are bonus years and the best is yet to come

  2. Jeanette Edgar says:

    Gloria, I can relate to your words so well! Years ago God showed me I was a “pedal to the metal” kind of girl and I’d take off without Him on plans He showed me (and sometimes plans I tried to show Him!). He has taught me to value being still, waiting, and that word “surrender” — oh ya. I think we could all use a decade on that word. Happy new year!

  3. vickimoss says:

    Amazing how we’re constantly multi-tasking when we should be focusing on now. Thanks for the post Gloria!

  4. Great post, Gloria!

    Luke 6:45 is the verse that has caused me to ponder its insightful message for the last few weeks. The last sentence is so true.

    “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
    Luke 6:45

    Your posts also overflow with the goodness in your heart.
    Write on! Speak on! Serve on!

  5. vondaskelton says:

    My word this year is Service. My recognition of this as my word began much earlier in 2012 as I did Bible Study with Christian Communicators graduate, Shannon Mullins. It was an amazing year and one in which I learned so much! One of the major take-aways was how many times the concept of caring for orphans and widows was mentioned…the idea of serving others with my own hands rather than simply donating money for others to do the hands-on work.

    I don’t yet know what that means. I only know there’s something I’m supposed to do to help others in need. 🙂

    • Gloria Ashby says:

      You are so right, Vonda. Service is all through the scripture. We don’t have to know what His call means. He’ll set the pace and reveal it in His time. Have a joyful year of Service.

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