Thursday, May 8, 2008

P4E.070 Slow Down!

(10th in a series on predator patterning)

Predators act instinctively. They count on their nature to move quickly. Thinking slows them down. The scenarios that I described of how to put others first, especially when I must sacrifice to do so, in the last post were predicated on being in a hurry, running late and acting on instinct. When we are in a hurry, we act like predators towards others whom we perceive to be slowing us down. So, to counterbalance my predator patterning, I need to:

Step 2: Slow Down!

The old adage is "Time is money." As Believers we need to challenge the old adages. Are our values worldly or godly? I know the analogy breaks down somewhere, but:

If we are to be like Christ
and Christ is God
and God is infinite
and therefore time is inconsequential to Him
what value should we give to time?

I know I need to be careful here. For some of us, our wives believe that we are too slow. Some of us are procrastinators and are slow to make decisions or outright indecisive. This causes "crises" to "erupt" at a later time, which then must be addressed in haste. So, some of us actually need to hurry up so that we can slow down.

Which brings me to strategies for implementing Step 2: Slow Down!

1st strategy: Remove the causes of being in a hurry. This means planning. This means staying on top of necessary commitments so that they don't pile up. This means leaving earlier to arrive on time. This means stopping procrastination. This means work.

2nd strategy: Attitude adjustment. We need to stop deluding ourselves into thinking that because we're good Christian people that nothing is going to go wrong! We don't deserve, nor should we expect, trouble free lives. I'm sorry to use the hackneyed phrase "paradigm shift," but that is what we're talking about here. A shift in the way we view time. A shift in the way we react to circumstances. This is an exercise in patience (a fruit of the spirit).

Two places where I know I have to slow down are with my words and with my anger (impatience). To my shame, I would pounce (another predator term) on my wife's and my children's mistakes. I would correct something my wife would say in public, in front of others, causing her great embarrassment. I would become angry and impatient with my children if they were not ready to leave for church (or any other function) on time. What irony!! What hypocrisy!!

"A quick-tempered man acts foolishly..."

"He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly."

"But, let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God."

When I slow down, I have time to think. I gain wisdom and understanding. I'm less likely to become angry. I stop acting predatory. I avoid being a fool.

Your Ally in the Pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim

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