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The Balancing Act

Greetings All,
     I've been too busy to send one of these out the last couple weeks, but I thought I would pass on this quote which I used in my sermon this past Sunday.  The sermon was out of Luke and titled: "The Balancing Act - Making Time for Ministry, Taking Time to Pray."  It was based on Luke 4:42 and 5:16 where Jesus, at daybreak, goes off to solitary places often to be alone and pray. 
     In relation to my message I thought this quote by Mark Buchanan was very appropriate.  I hope you enjoy it, meditate upon it, and take it to heart. 
   “I’ve been in a hurry most of my life.  Always rushing to get from where I am to where I’m going. Always cocking my arm to check my watch—doing that habitually, mechanically, mindlessly. Always leaning heavily on the gas in the passing lane, angry that the driver in front of me doesn’t share my sense of urgency.  Always fuming over having to wait in bank lines and grocery checkouts and road construction zones….But all that hurry has gotten me no farther ahead.  It’s actually set me back.  It’s diminished me.  My efforts to gain time have only lost it.  Whole epochs of my existence have swept by me in a blur, with not even a cheap souvenir to remember them by. There are seasons and seasons of my life swallowed whole, buried in a black hole of forgetting.
     Some one aksed me recently what my biggest regret in life was.  I thought a moment, surveying the vast and cluttered landscape of my blunders and losses...'Being is a hurry,' I said.  My biggest blunder was being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me.  I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry...
     The Chinese join two characters form a single pictograph for the word busyness: heart and killing. That is stunningly incisive. Busyness kills the heart….Too much work, the British used to say, makes Jack a dull boy.  But it’s worse than that.  It numbs Jack.  It parches Jack.  It hardens Jack.  It kills his heart.  When we get too busy, everything becomes either a trudge or a scramble, the doldrums or sheer mayhem…  We lose concern for people, beauty and goodness… cease to laugh when our children laugh (yelling at them to quiet down instead)… we don’t weep when others weep… and when we hear news of trouble among our neighbors we simply hope it won’t involve us… busyness kills the heart. And not only that, busyness robs us of knowing God the way we might... some facets of God we glimpse through motion, but other facets of God we only discover through stillness. ‘Be still,’ the psalm instructs, ‘and know that I am God.’ Only those who wait on the Lord renew their strength.  Only those who are quiet and watchful find God's mercy that is new every morning.”
I hope you take the opportunity to follow the example of Jesus, who went off to solitary places often (5:16)--maybe because He simply enjoyed the solitude of the walk to get to them in those early morning hours, maybe because the walk invigorated Him as He contemplated all God has done and made along the way, and maybe because the peace and solitude afforded Him time to be still and silent and commune with His Father in quiet, uninterupted prayer.
Have a great week.  In Him, Jeff
Dr. Jeffrey F. Evans

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