Church On The Edge
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Church On The Edge

Catch Your Breath

Pali-pali is a common expression in Korea. It means “Hurry up!”

Most people I know don’t need to be told to hurry up, they need to be told to slow down. Life moves at a frantic pace. Sometimes it’s all we can do to keep up. But something I’ve learned — and it took me a long time to learn this — is that we bear more fruit for God’s kingdom when we slow down.

I was listening to a Neil Young song the other night entitled “Slowpoke.” I really connected with a line from that song: “When I was faster, I was always behind.”

For me, this is the message of Psalm 23 when it says, ‘he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” I love Eugene Peterson’s translation in The Message, which reads, “you let me catch my breath.”

I’ve been encouraging you, as I did my congregations in Korea, to pray Psalm 23 each morning, to recite it slowly and thoughtfully, letting God bring to your heart and mind people, places, needs, and opportunities to serve Him.

I love Henri Nouwen’s definition of prayer. “To pray,” says Nouwen, “is to let (God’s) voice speak to the center of your being, to your guts, and let that voice resound in your whole being.” (Community, Henri J. Nouwen, edited by Stephen Lazarus, p.16)

As we learn the discipline of slowing down, we experience not only the restoration of our inner being, but we discover that we carry the peace that comes from a refreshed soul with us throughout the day.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you,” is the promise of Jesus to his disciples. But that promise comes with a condition: “Follow me.”

I’ve asked you before, but I’m going to ask again — Is this more than a psalm of David to you? Are the words of this psalm the confession of your life with God? There is no question that our Shepherd is leading. The question is — are we following?

Peace goes before and follows after those whose souls are restored by their Lord.

Are you missing that peace in your life? If so, I want to encourage you to slow down, catch your breath, and let God restore your soul with the cool, refreshing water of His Spirit.

In Christ,

Dan

Check out my podcasts from Church on the Edge and my books on Kindle.

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Seeking to live on the edge, like Jesus. danarmistead.com

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Dan Armistead

Dan Armistead

Dan is the former pastor of Seoul International Baptist Church and Adjunct Professor at Torch Trinity Graduate University in Seoul, Korea.

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