“Stop and smell the roses”, a common idiom familiar to many in the US, is stopping to take the time to appreciate/observe what is going on around you. Further, the US seems to be one of the few countries who do not take the time to appreciate significant experiences due to the drive to get to the next step as soon as possible. Success has been driven into us, creating a feeling of guilt when we take time to “slow down” and even for some – exercising, eating and sleeping – necessary actions to function successfully have been perceived as a distraction.
Another phrase known in the Christian community is the “Martha Complex”.“But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”[i]
On multiple occasions, I have experienced God speak into my life, “Sarah, Sarah,” as He did with Martha. In those moments of continuing without stopping, I have immersed myself into projects with little regard for whether my motives were godly or to save face. God loves a servant’s heart that pines after Him; one who thinks, says and does to solely bring glory to His name. When we do anything a part from this, we not only miss out on growing in our walk, but we also miss out on representing God to the world around us.
How to put this action into motion you? In all honesty, this is anything but easy; however, I promise the reward will be worth it. I am attempting and taking the following steps to put this mindset into motion:
- Pray. When you pray, I encourage you to remind yourself of Who you are talking to: the Creator of the universe, your Redeemer, Jehovah Jireh and the God who is Sovereign. It will be difficult to rush through praying when you realize the gravity of Who you have the opportunity to talk with.
- Scripture. Study scriptures that speak on taking time to rest in His presence:
- Matthew 11:28-30 “…For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
- Genesis 2:2-3 “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.”
- Psalm 127:2 “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for He grants sleep to those he loves.”
- Fast. Fasting from social media and other distractions could magnify what is really important in life.
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