5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
A friend of mine was just put on bedrest per her OB’s orders. She’s a little in to her second trimester with a long haul ahead of her. In the span of a moment she went from full time mother, wife, homemaker and worker to bed-rester. Of course, she’s still full time mothering right there, from the couch, the bed, the chair, but it’s a different kind, a slower more gentle kind—a caress. I remember the jolt, the bedrest jolt, like stepping off a moving sidewalk and finding yourself SO MUCH SLOWER. You continue on with life, of course, but each minute, each task feels like you’re performing underwater.
Saul (pre-Paul) was a speed-walker. He got things done. He was good at his job of scouting Christians to kick out of the cities, toss into the jails and scatter to the wind like dandelion fuzz. In fact, he was on his way to do just such a job when Jesus struck him blind. He was a man on a mission. Only Jesus decided his mission lay elsewhere. Imagine the new stride of a formerly purposeful man who now has to feel out each step. Imagine the powerful hands reaching out for wayward objects, jutting limbs, other faster and louder people. It would have been comical and sad, and for Saul, productive. He was learning the right way to walk.
I believe there are times in life when God calls us to slow our roll, to march less purposefully, to retract our original plans in favor of his own. To do a little inside work. To reinforce the structure, which left to our own devices, would crumble while we’re putting on a fresh coat of paint. It’s what happens when our kids get sick. Time slows to a crushing pace, but there are also more cuddles, more kisses, more easy meals and Disney movies. It’s what happens when you try to write a letter rather than an email. Your hand cramps from renewed use and it takes twice as long, but that’s because you are thinking about each word twice as hard. Each word means more and has more of you in it. It’s what happens when your car breaks down and you have to rely on friends for rides or, heaven protect your marriage, share a car with your spouse. We become more vulnerable in our new pace because we are no longer racing ahead. We are in it: up close and personal with the snotty noses, the pens and paper and stamps, and the person in the passenger seat who wants to talk over the radio.
Life is like this. We will run ourselves ragged, mice in mazes, if left unchecked. But Jesus doesn’t care about the tasks as much as he cares about the tasker. He wants the best version of you to emerge and it’s not going to happen running full tilt. I try to see the jolts, the unexpected power outages in my fast-paced life, as a gift. An annoying and stressful gift that I’d like to return, but still a gift meant for good. These are our reminders that God is still working on us, still tinkering with the inner mechanisms. It’s comforting to know I’m still a project worth it’s completion.
And now for the announcement: I’m starting a Sunday Thoughts Link-Up! This is for anyone who wants to share how God is working in their lives. I know there are many out there with wisdom that could encourage all of us. As long as it’s Biblically-based, I’d love for you to join up and read and comment on what others have shared. Think of this as a Sunday morning community group that comes to you. And grab the button if you like…
Click on the link button below to participate: