Summary: A sermon about building spiritual "down-time" into our lives.
Managing the Pace of Life
Think of the person you’ve know who did the most, accomplished the most on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.
One of the busiest and most efficient people I’ve ever known is Lisa Smith, our church secretary. She hits the ground running on Mondays and during the course of the week accomplishes an extraordinary amount of work.
On her last week before vacation she found the time to accomplish 2 weeks worth of her regular duties in addition to helping with the clothes closet and food pantry AND keeping me out of trouble at least 6 different times! She’s a busy woman!
How many of you know that as time goes by we only get busier? Some folks once believed that the advent of technology would do so much to relieve us of mundane jobs that the forty hour work week would become obsolete. Instead we drive down the road texting & talking on the cell phone. We have to “multi-task” on our computers in order to be more productive.
We’re busy people!!
Jesus was a busy man. When we meet him here in Luke chapter 5 here are some of the ministry events that have already taken place:
• He’s been baptized
• He’s been tempted for 40 days
• He has taught in the synagogues of the region of Galilee
• He’s driven out an evil spirit in Capernaum
• He has healed Simon’s mother-in-law and many others
• He has chosen some of his closest disciples
• He has healed a man with leprosy
This was a man with a happening ministry. Let’s read our text in Luke 5, starting with verse 12.
It’s right here that I want to just stop and say, “Wait a minute! Are you kidding me? There are people searching you out from all around the area for your teaching and healing ministries and you sometimes just walk away?”
It’s seems almost ridiculous. Think about what we know:
• Jesus would have a ministry lasting only about 3 ½ years
• He’s the Son of God
• There is only ONE Son of God
• Following his resurrection he will return to heaven for at least 2,000 years.
This is prime opportunity to do ministry. “Hey Jesus! You can pray and rest all you want when you get back to heaven. Let’s man up and do some ministry today!”
But that’s when I remember something I read one time.
In John chapter 13 there’s a story about Jesus taking a time-out during the evening meal one night and washing the feet of his friends. Now believe me when I say that they were just blown away by this. They had a pretty good handle on who He was by now and there was just no way they could see how this was appropriate.
Jesus explains a principle to them in John 13:15 that I think applies whenever we examine the life of Jesus:
John 13:15-17 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is great than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
I fully understand that Jesus’ immediate meaning here spoke to servanthood. His friends were to emulate the humility and love displayed by Jesus in this beautiful act of foot-washing.
But I think there’s more at stake here. Jesus’ ministry is quickly coming to a close and He is doing all the things necessary to bring their training – or “discipleship” – to a its’ conclusion. His greater statement here could well be inclusive of the entirety of his ministry when he says, in effect, “You’re not somehow going to get by doing less than I have done. Do what you’ve seen me do, not just today, but for the last 3 ½ years!”
What did he do? For 3 ½ years, at strategic times, he controlled the pace of life and ministry by going to lonely places to pray.
We might say, “Sure, when things get tough I like to go and pray. When I’m facing a really busy week or family relationships have been especially difficult, or maybe when I’ve been depressed or the finances have been tight, I’ll take some time to get alone with God.”
That’s a great habit to have. There’s no better place to turn when things seem to be going the wrong way or getting out of control. We intuitively know we need to manage the pace of life when we’re in the valley and get with God. But I want you to see something about Jesus. Look at the times when he slowed things down: