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(Encouraging Word of the Day) When Rushing Takes You in the Wrong Direction, by Pastor Dipascal

"Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind." Proverbs 21:5 (MSG)

I dropped the grocery bags on the counter and glanced at the clock. It’s way past dinnertime.

I shoved the dirty dishes to one side of the sink and quickly began washing the vegetables that rolled out from one of the bags on the counter. I could feel my heart racing as I grabbed a sauté pan and looked for the pork chops hiding somewhere in the refrigerator.

Why am I always running late? No matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to get my act together. I’m tired of rushing all the time. Why won’t anyone notice and help me?

In record time, I had potatoes in the oven, a fresh salad made and my stowaway pork chops sizzling on the stove.

Hopefully no one’s noticed what time it is yet. Breathe, Leah … breathe!

Just then I heard my teenage son hollering from the back door, "Mom, please come move your car out of the driveway. I want to shoot some hoops."

In a mad dash, I headed for the door with my car keys in hand. I have to hurry – otherwise the pork chops are going to burn! I hopped in the car, shoved the gear stick in reverse and quickly backed up … right into my husband’s truck.

Oh, yes I did!

The crash was so hard and loud that my husband heard it from inside. In seconds we were surveying the damage. Let’s just say he was not a happy camper. And I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out.

I felt terrible about what had just happened but no matter how many times I apologized, my words couldn’t fix the huge dents in both of our cars.

Keith was gracious and said it would be OK. But, it wasn’t OK. Not for me. I had made a careless and costly mistake that would have been avoided if I weren’t in such a hurry. My rushing had taken me in the wrong direction. Oh, and the pork chops on the stove? Completely burned.

Maybe like me you sometimes include too many things in your schedule. Sure, we have good intentions and want to meet everyone’s needs. But how helpful can we really be if we’re rushing around all day, feeling anxious and unintentionally setting ourselves up for careless mistakes because we’re doing too much?

I long to be a woman who chooses wisely and plans well. A woman who seeks the Lord’s guidance before setting her schedule, so that she can experience the peace of His presence instead of the anxiety of her hurriedness.

Do you want to be that kind of woman too? What would our days look like if we embraced the pace of God’s steady grace rather than rushing ahead in our attempts to get more done? What if we actually lived like Proverbs 21:25 says, knowing that careful planning puts us ahead but hurry and scurry can put us further behind?

Would we be more helpful to others and ourselves by slowing down, giving attention to what we’re doing and being present in our circumstances, instead of daydreaming about the next thing on our to-do list? I think so.

As we enter the New Year, let’s decide to make a change and do things differently.

Let’s ask God for insight when we create our schedules and move at a pace that pleases Him. Let’s be wise women who choose to avoid the trap of rushing which often leads us in the wrong direction.

Let’s settle our hearts and watch the anxiousness wash away as we take God’s hand and walk in the gentle pace of His steady grace today.

Dear Lord, give me Your wisdom as I plan my schedule each day. If I start to feel anxious because I’m trying to do too much, remind me to slow down, focus on what I’m doing and avoid the trap of rushing in the wrong direction. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Jeremiah 2:25a, "Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?" (MSG)

1 Peter 5:6-7, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." (ESV)

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