“…for they received the message with great eagerness & examined the Scriptures every day…” Acts 17:11
I thought it would be beneficial to keep a journal of my Lenten journey in the slow lane; driving the speed limit for 40 days. For some of you this may seem like something really lame to “give up,” but if you know me well, you know this truly is one of the hardest things I could give up. This is hard for me partly because there are no “side benefits” to giving up speeding. If I give up dessert I might lose a few pounds. If I give up caffeine I will probably be healthier, less jittery and maybe even sleep better. Giving up speeding makes my life more complicated, difficult and humiliating. Fast is how I roll whether in the car, walking, eating or breathing. But even after one morning of setting my cruise control to the posted speed limit, God has taught me something.
My kids made it their personal mission to tell me if I was driving even one mile an hour over the speed limit (not annoying at all). I noticed that in the hilly area we live, my cruise control is not good at staying where I set it so after I dropped the two Lenten police officers off at school I didn’t use my cruise control. Every two minutes however I’d look down and lo and behold, I was speeding. Why? Because speeding is my default. Going faster, moving ahead and trying to be as efficient as possible is how I am hardwired. In the 8 miles I had to travel home from school today despite trying to go the speed limit, I kept going five over (well maybe seven, but who’s counting?). I’d like to blame my size 10 ½ shoe and the weight that is inherent in having a foot that big, but unfortunately it really is more a heart issue than a foot issue.
Unfortunately, because my speeding problem is a heart issue, speeding behind the wheel is not the only place I default to going too fast. I speed past my husband and kids in the morning. I do my work, my workouts and my cleaning quickly and I speed by countless opportunities to love others everyday all in the name of my default, efficiency. When I got home from my failed attempt to drive the speed limit, I read Acts 17:11. Just like trying to be intentional with my driving, unless I purposefully slow down and get in God’s Word every day I will always, without thinking about it or realizing it, default to speeding and inevitably miss what God has for me. Even on the days I do make time to read my Bible I still can gravitate to my defaults: racing through life, thinking only about me and opening my big flapper more than I should. But on the days when I am intentional about reading God’s Word and trying to think about what I read throughout my day, I find myself going a little more slowly and little more intentionally through my day. It is in those exceptional times I find I have more peace, I love a little more deeply and I live life with a little less regret.
“Dear God, thank you for a slower drive to school today. Thank you that when I am being intentional with an assignment from You I am forced to really look for You. Thank you that when I must slow down, my head and heart get a little less foggy and frenetic and I see and hear from You a little better. Thank you for the gift of speed limits both on the road in in our hearts. It is going to be a long, slow and intentional 40 days, but I thank you that I am already being reminded once again that Your love for me is personal, sweet and is transforming me into more of who You created me to be. In Your Holy and Worthy Name, Amen.”