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Pace Yourself

I possess one of those addictive personalities where I tend to follow an all or nothing mindset. When I become passionate about something, I develop the “eye of the tiger” fueled by an intensity to accomplish whatever I set my mind to do. Unfortunately, emotional excitement doesn’t last forever. Subsequently, when I don’t pace myself, I often crash and burn before experiencing the thrill of victory.

Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go, Joshua 1:6-7.

As Israel began to prepare to enter into God’s promised land, Joshua provides advice for spiritually pacing yourself. Joshua suggests that courage can be conceived from reading the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible which were available to the Levitical Priests. As you begin to live in the pages of the Bible, don’t turn away, drift or stray from God’s commands. As you begin to practice keeping the Sabbath holy, pacing yourself is possible.

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success, Joshua 1:8.

Whether you’re running or trying to endure the hectic schedule of a busy work week, meditating and reflecting upon biblical principles will help your sanity. Meanwhile, Joshua suggests that those who maintain a daily time of Bible Study will become prosperous and successful. As you learn to set the spiritual pace for believers to follow, the example that you display daily will inspire others to observe and practice spiritual disciplines.

by Jay Mankus

Slowing Down to Serve

The concept “eye of the tiger” was introduced by the Rocky Series of movies.  Meredith Burgess plays Mick, Sylvester Stallone’s boxing trainer.  When Rocky becomes focused, he develops an eye like a tiger on the prowl.  Thus, in the 1982 film Rocky 3, the group Survivor creates a theme song that highlights this concept.  Unfortunately, I find myself way too often in the zone like this song’s lyrics.  Obsessed with a project or task at hand, this state prevents me from slowing down to serve others.

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side, Luke 10:31-32.

One day some religious leaders had a busy schedule to keep.  There were places to go, people to meet and lives to touch.  During their travels, some bystanders were overlooked, passed by and skipped over.  Thus, the beggar on the street corner was neglected again, not willing to change their course.  While Jesus refers to a priest and a Levite in the passage above, I see myself as a weekly offender, too busy to recognize the Samaritan in need of help.

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him, Luke 10:33-34.

The other night at work, I listened to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  In the hour that followed,  I was amazed at the opportunities that God brought my way.  Before I knew it, I helped an associate with a scanner problem; then another with a question about life, love and marriage.  On any other evening, I wouldn’t have noticed these people.  However, whenever you slow down enough, its much easier to see how God can use you to serve others.

by Jay Mankus

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