Hi everyone. Rob here.
One of our dog’s favourite activities is pretending to herd sheep. I heard that sheep dogs see sheep in a completely different way to us. Namely they have a wider scope of vision and see the sheep’s movements in slow motion – from our point of view anyway. Thus, they can anticipate the sheep’s movements and stop them before they cause trouble. For a good movie example of this see the scenes with Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past, where time seems to stand still because of his relative speed.
This gets me thinking about the basis on which we make our choices. Often, it seems, life is going too fast. We feel rushed in our decisions and pushed along at a pace that’s not of our choosing. Whether it’s at work or at home, making decisions in real time seems like a somewhat frantic business. But what if it could be different? What if we were able to gain God’s viewpoint on our life? God has a much wider scope of vision than we do. If we were able to see things from an eternal point of view, would that mean we would see things in slow-motion and respond accordingly?
One of the things you notice with Jesus is that he has a very different view of what’s urgent and what’s not compared to the other disciples. When Jairus’ daughter was gravely ill he allowed himself to be distracted looking for the woman who touched his cloak and received healing. In the meantime Jairus’ daughter died. We see the same thing in John 11 and the death of Lazarus. Jesus heard that he was sick so “he stayed where he was two more days.” In other words he waited for Lazarus to die and then went. Death to Jesus just wasn’t that urgent a matter it seems. One of the only times that Jesus seemed in a hurry was when he was wanting to get away from the crowds bringing him adulation. Otherwise you get a sense of a man, despite the crowds pressing in on him and criticism being hurled at him from the authorities, who was in control of his timetable. He made decisions in his time. Sometimes, like the selection of the disciples, he would make time by staying up through the night in order to pray. Other times he would simply reject people’s demands. Either way, he was in charge, and I suggest it was because he lived life in intimate relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
It’s matter of priority and a matter of authority. When we give our lives over to God, it also means that we give the decisions in our lives over to him as well. It means that we’re asking God to order our steps. We ask for the eyes of our heart to be opened so we can see where God wants us to be and do what God wants us to be doing. By bringing decisions before God I’ve been rescued from stepping in where I wasn’t actually needed, brought in where I was and slowed down so God could be revealed more clearly. I’ve received guidance and direction that have taken me in unexpected but beautiful directions. I’ve discovered that most decisions aren’t so urgent that they can’t be prayed over and surrendered to God for his will to be done. When you know that God’s in charge then you can let go of the world’s schedule and operate on his.
So this week, may you wake up and slow down. May the eyes of your heart be opened and God’s perspective revealed to you and may the Spirit give you courage to be more obedient to God’s schedule than the world’s. And may grace and peace be yours.