Running a ‘Measured Pace’
Some time ago, whilst sitting on a park bench, I found myself observing a group of teenagers having fun on a roundabout. There seemed to be total disorder, chaos and confusion as they fought for position; the activity was feverish, the speed furious as the wheel sped around on its central axis. It never appeared to occur to them as they continued on their roundabout experience that the energy and time expended were achieving little in terms of arriving anywhere. The whole exercise was, to my mind, unproductive, which caused me to reflect the sad plight of the Children of Israel when they came out of captivity – a journey that should have taken two weeks took forty years; they went round in circles making no progress whatsoever. I remember sitting there and reflecting much of what I had just witnessed because roundabout experiences are like that – it was ‘Momentum without Direction’,‘Distance without Gain’, ‘Movement without Progress’, and ‘Activity without purpose’.
It began to occur to me just how very similar modern Church Life can become with its merry-go-round of constant activity; in many Churches, a ceaseless round of board and committee meetings are held; gatherings and functions are taking place, So very often the way ahead seems to be meeting orientated, irrespective of where they are leading us. The late David Watson, in one of his books, wrote that ninety per cent of all Church Activity was of man’s making, whilst only ten per cent was directly from the Holy Spirit – if that is true, then we are talking about much activity without ‘Divine Authorisation’, and that is surely ‘Movement without Progress’
I wonder are all the things that we are all involved with in Church life producing fruitful and productive results within us. Work that is just mere distance without any gain and movement without progress are not spiritually productive if they are not part of the Lords purposes for our lives. The enemy will do anything to keep us from accomplishing our God prepared assignments because the battle is always about the future and the enemy is a master of diverting us away from God’s prepared purposes for our lives. Jesus seemed to have had sufficient time in three years to accomplish all that the Father had called him to do, there were no unproductive roundabout journeys in His schedule – He travelled a measured pace. It was never without purpose, never bordered on haste; His movements were never without direction or His ministry without fruit. We run a perilous race when we do otherwise. Many have shipwrecked their faith by moving ahead into areas of church ministry and service that were not of God. In Acts 8:26, Philip was transferred by the spirit from an exciting high powered revival that was sweeping Samaria into a desert place to meet an Ethiopian Eunuch – A digressive errand some might suggest, a wasted journey would say others. No! A productive and fruitful journey; an activity with purpose, gain; direction and progress – a Measured Pace
Jack has been a faithful member of the Free Methodist Church for 34 years, spending many of those years in leadership. He lives in Lancashire, UK, and has recently celebrated 60 years as being a Christian! Find our more about Jack and the story behind Jack’s corner: Treasures of the Word here.