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.