“If you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far go together.”
-An African proverb-
I heard this proverb years ago, and it’s always stuck with me. When you live in a world like ours, dominated by technology and social ladders, people seem to be competing for how fast they can move. We equate a fast paced life with success. We wear our busyness like a badge of honor. We talk about how tired we are, how full our schedules are, but we don’t like to talk about how empty those fast-paced lives can be.
You see, life isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. We’re not in this life to rush ahead and burnout hard. We’re in this for the long haul. The only way we’re ever going to make it through the long haul, is together. But “together” doesn’t move quickly. “Together” takes time. “Together” requires us to slow down to a pace of relationship that our culture doesn’t understand at all.
The other day someone reminded me that while Jesus walked on this earth, he moved at about 3 miles an hour for his whole earthly ministry. (I imagine he moved a little faster if any of the disciples ever challenged him to a footrace.) Think about that. The Son of God, who had the whole human race to save, moved at about 3 miles an hour. He never cruised down a highway, never boarded a plane, never beat his hand against the steering wheel while waiting for the light to turn green.
Jesus took his time. The Son of God slowed down to our pace, became a human, and walked with us (quite literally). When Jesus was ascending into heaven, you can bet he wasn’t thinking, “If I’d just hustled a little bit more!” He had done everything that his father sent him here to do.
I’ve got a lot of things on my plate this week, but saving all of the humanity from sin and death isn’t on the list. In fact, nothing that important is on the list. So why do I feel like I need to move faster than Jesus?
Have you ever trained a new puppy to walk on a leash? What does he do? He strains and he pulls on the leash and he tries to drag you down the street. Are you sitting back thinking, “Wow. You’re so right, Fido. There are so many smells to smell. We should move faster.” No. You teach the puppy to walk beside you and go and match your pace.
Anybody else ever felt like that puppy? We’re excited. We’ve got energy. We’ve got things we want to go and do. The Lord, however, moves at his own pace. He doesn’t rush to catch up with us. He is patient and gentle as he teaches us to move the way he moves. We will miss some of his most amazing blessings and insights by trying to rush out in front of him.
So take a breath. Take a walk with the Lord. It’s okay. Jesus isn’t in a rush, and you don’t need to be either. We bring God the most glory when we choose to move at his pace. We build his Kingdom when we believe that his provision and presence is enough.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.”