The words echoed in my mind. I marinated over them, wondering why the concept was so foreign to me. “Pace Yourself” He had said. Right after I had word vomited all the things and all the dreams I was so eager to accomplish.
And as I’ve thought through these words I realize I’ve treated my whole life like a sprint instead of a marathon. Running full force ahead to the next goal or milestone, but then being so burned out that I can barely breathe.
And I think what God is trying to teach me over and over again is that it’s about maintaining a steady pace. A slower pace. And that’s ok. I don’t need to rush rush rush to the next thing, whatever that is. But that if I go slow & steady, choosing Him day in and day out, that HE will get me there.
And this mindset allows us to not put so much pressure on ourselves. All the pressure and expectation that I put on myself do not help me in my journey. It may feel like it pushes me forward, but often it just produces anxiety in my life, which doesn’t produce good fruit. And I know from experience that it stems from a lack of trust in my heavenly Father. It shifts the focus off of what HE is able to do, because I am always believing that I HAVE to be the one to do it. But this story isn’t about me anyways, it’s about HIM. Shifting my focus off of “me” and back to “Him” is just so freeing.
As I’ve walked this journey and dissected it, I’ve discovered where this stems from. Growing up, I was always told that I have a lot of “potential.” I worked really hard in school to get straight A’s and excel, and always wanted to get that “gold star.” I had a rough home life, and I pushed myself because I wanted more for my life. I believed that I had potential and so there was this internal voice constantly telling me “don’t waste it.” Which created a fear of not measuring up… of failing.
With so many dreams on my heart, I never wanted to be the person who always “dreams” and never “does.” So I’m a doer. But as I’ve gotten older I realize I need to be more selective of what I choose to do with my time. Saying “yes” to one dream may mean saying “no” to another. So I have to choose wisely. And I have to lay down my fear of choosing wrong. Lay down my fear of failing, and if I’m really honest, my fear of mediocrity.
Doesn’t everything that holds us back or trips us up ultimately come back to fear? And we can only move past it if we can recognize it and hand it over to the Lord. Laying down all our fear, breaking ties to it. Believing in Him to get us through it — believing in Him to give us Faith & Courage & Hope.
Everyday I’m breaking ties to that rushed spirit. That lie that says “HURRY UP AND DO MORE.” The lie that says “PRODUCE. ACHIEVE. SUCCEED.” And I’m receiving the Spirit of Peace and Patience that He so freely offers.
I don’t need to rush. I will trust God’s timing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s ok to pace myself.
The choice is always ours. And it’s a choice we’ll need to keep making over and over and over again.
So what’s it gonna be?