When that green flag waved, there were forty-three cars racing around a 2.5 mile tri-oval at 200 miles per hour. There were about ten yellow caution flags during the race, which slowed their speed to 55 miles per hour. And there was also one red flag, which completely stopped the cars until the track could be cleaned up after a particularly bad wreck.
200 miles per hour under green. 55 miles per hour under yellow. And zero miles per hour under red. Which of those would best describe the pace of your life right now?
Between work or school (or both) and activities you’ve committed to and maintaining all of your relationships–does it feel like life is passing by in a blur? Does the fact that it’s March surprise you? Are you wondering where the last two months…or two years have gone?
I suspect most of us feel like we’re racing through life at 200 miles per hour. No time to slow down. No time to relax. No margin for error. We’re running under a green flag week after week, month after month, year after year. There’s just too much to do. There are deadlines to meet. People are counting on us. We’re needed. No one else can do what we do. And besides, even if we do slow down, it doesn’t mean everyone else will slow down with us. And you know what that means. We’re behind now, and we can’t have that. Especially if we’re measuring our worth in comparison to others.
When the yellow flag comes out at a race, the pace car enters the track and the cars fall in line behind. The pace car does exactly what it says–it sets the pace. You and I aren’t very good at setting our own pace. Sometimes we’re too slow, but most often, we’re too fast. Too busy! Over-committed and frenzied! What would happen though if we not only slowed down and let God set our pace, but actually stopped once in awhile, as well? No running around. Nothing on the schedule. No place to be. Just time to be. Time to be alone with God. Time to listen to God. Time to reflect on God. Time to re-evaluate what is keeping you from doing God’s race. To re-charge to do God’s work. Re-focus on what is God’s will for us. On what matters, God. It won’t be easy. It’ll mean turning off the phone, computer, television, and video games. And whatever other distractions we’ve allowed to rule our lives. Give God a couple hours a week? Will you commit to it? I promise you, you will never regret running God’s race at His pace.
If you’re not sure where to even begin, let me suggest you start with your Bible and a Journal. Read a few Psalms. Read a few chapters from one of the gospels. Ask the Holy Spirit to meet with you. I might add keeping a journal is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Even my 9 year old son start one…It’s that easy!
Maybe a few of these questions will help also help get you started:
- Is Jesus my first love or is it something or someone else? Money? Work? My grades? A relationship?
- Is there something in my life God has put His finger on, but I’ve ignored?
- Am I passionate about the things God is passionate about? Do I know what God is passionate about?
- Am I seeking the God “who is” or the God “I want him to be?”
- What do I think God is teaching me in my current circumstances?
- What negative emotions (fear, anger, worry, anxiety, etc.) am I experiencing? What lies am I believing that produce these feelings?
- Do I have a secret life that if I exposed would bring shame to me or myfamily?
- Am I a difficult person to live with? Do I regularly experience conflict with family members or co-workers?
Maybe it’s time to throw yourself a red flag, so you can stop long enough to examine the life you’re living. No one else will do it for you. It’s up to you. Why not do it now before you wreck or run out of gas and refuel. For many of you if you look at your gauge it would tell you, you need to stop and refuel. The Christian life demands discipline to keep your head level and your eyes forward as you look toward the great finish line of being with Jesus forever. But the world and the enemy want to take your eyes off the great prize that awaits you. They want you to follow this impulse or that temporary happiness, hoping that you’ll completely forget about the race you’re running. So when it comes to running the race set before you, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, your Savior. When you do that, the distractions of the world will seem strangely dim compared to his wonderful light!
The Daytona 500 is meant to be run at 200 mile per hour, but life isn’t.