God really does speak to us all the time, communicate, interact with us. The problem is many of us forgotten how to listen. Whether it’s our poor listening skills, or interference in the spiritual realm, or all the noise and busyness in our lives that make it hard to hear… many times he will use other things and people as vessels carrying the message he is trying to give. At that point we have to be open-minded enough to realize the message is his and fight the urge to make excuses or let doubt win.
Last night my friend Katlyn and I went to Tybee at 1 a.m. for the sole purpose of being able to lose ourselves on the beach surrounded by endless ocean and sky, so dark they seem to unite as one, covered by a blanket of stars and the smell of saltwater in the air… a place where I feel a little closer to heaven and am usually able to gain some perspective. We sat under the pier and prayed for a solid hour about everything that is drowning each of us right now, everything we’re struggling with, our confusion, our fears, our insecurities. We left our sand-filled sanctuary and headed back to the car and back to earth, and headed back down the main drag leaving the island. Katlyn was driving my car and isn’t used to how it feels and didn’t realize how fast she was going. Realizing she was 18 m.p.h. over, I called it to her attention and we slowed down. As Murphy’s Law goes, the only other headlights on the road belonged to a police officer who was far enough behind us in the dark that we couldn’t see it was a cop car…until the red and blue lights began the light show. We had slowed back down to 5 over, but he had been behind us the whole time.
Katlyn immediately froze and told me she didn’t have her license, she grabbed it quickly before we left not realizing it was actually her state i.d. not her driver’s license, and I didn’t have mine either. The officer walked up the window and I was expecting the routine, standard, “License and registration?” Considering it was now 2:30 in the morning I doubted this officer would be very nice or in any kind of good mood or care what we had to say. He came up with a questioning smile on his face and instead of “license and registration..,” three completely different words were spoken- “What’s yer hurry?” Katlyn immediately handed over her state i.d. and apologetically and full of resignation said she mistakenly grabbed this instead of her i.d., though she didn’t try to offer any excuses. He asked if I had mine. “No.” He asked where we were going. “Home.” Then he said “Just slow down,” turned and walked back to his car and drove off in the opposite direction.”
We breathed a huge sigh of relief, the awe and shock evident on our faces as we looked at each other, and I said, “well that was God.” What I meant was that God had helped us not get a ticket or Katlyn get hauled off to jail because the only reason we were even out there was to pray and spend time with him. But soon Katlyn said, “I think it’s more literal than just that.”
“What’s yer hurry?”
What’s your hurry, my daughters? I have not forsaken you. I am with you through both the ups and downs, whether you are at the top of the mountain or stuck in the pit of the valley. Just slow down. Look around and enjoy this life I have given you. You have come to me in prayer, and I will answer, as I always do…in time. Be patient. Have faith that I am at work and I will raise you up from these current stresses just as I have raised you up countless times before. What’s your hurry? Enjoy the ride.
Kind of gives you goosebumps, doesn’t it? For all I know that cop didn’t even exist… maybe he was some kind of angel delivering that message. Who really knows when it comes to the power of God. We mere humans certainly can’t wrap our brains around it.
Now, this morning my devotional spoke of the need for urgency, and through all this I am reminded of the importance of balance and where that comes into all this. This morning it said, “As we get older, our vision should improve. Not our vision of earth, but our vision of heaven. Those who have spent their life looking for heaven gain a skip in their step as the city comes into view. After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a…note to his apprentice… The great artist wrote: “Draw, Antonio, draw, and do not waste time.” Well-founded urgency, Michelangelo. Time slips. Days pass. Years fade. And life ends. And what we came to do must be done while there is time.” -Max Lucado
Some might be confused by a message one night for slowing down, and 7 hours later for urgency, but I take it as God reminding me of the intricate balance that is necessary to manage our time.
Slow down. Embrace the season of life you are in and understand that he is using the hills and valleys and ups and downs of life for our GOOD. This is how he molds us and shapes us. I stood at the edge of the water last night watching the ebb and flow of the water, my eyes unfocused on the waves. The tide was extremely low. The waves are persistent and relentless, firm but gentle, not overbearing, but always there, always at work, constantly shaping and re-shaping the coastline. That is what God does to our hearts, it’s a give and take. Sometimes the tide is low, sometimes high, but always shaping and molding.
Do not waste time. Our life is a blip of time in the span of eternity. We are like a gust of wind, here for a moment then gone again, come from ash and returned to ash. Live deliberately. Walk through life with urgency and purpose. Use every opportunity to point upward, to spread his word and his glory, to be his hands and feet and a vessel of his love to others. Live a life that leads and don’t take days off from doing so. Even in the slow seasons of life where you feel as if you’re walking through thick mud, walk through that mud for God’s kingdom.
So today, may you slow down as you refuse to waste time.
Savannah area peeps: Casting Crowns joined by Sanctus Real, The Afters and Lindsey McCaul will be in Savannah, October 15th!!!!! I’m so excited! Get tickets on hisradio.com or local Christian bookstores 🙂