This morning when I came in to work I had a particularly busy brain. I arrived at work at about 7am so I could start my day with a quick workout. While I was exercising, as usually happens, my mind started to wander into a talk that I’m giving later this week. I was thinking about how far too rarely I am stopped in my tracks. How rarely I take the time to stop, listen, pray, and just relax away from the noise of my agenda for the day. For the talk I’m doing later this week, I’m using a from the book of Jeremiah in the Bible that goes like this:
“Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”
But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.
Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
After I rushed through my workout I headed into the locker room. My busy brain was still going. I was beginning to frantically plan for how I was going to talk about “What stops you in your tracks?” The irony that I realized right then in the locker room was that I hadn’t been stopped in my tracks in my planning for talking about being stopped in my tracks. The first thing I thought was, “What an idiot!” Then I thought about the message God was handing me through the words in Jeremiah. Jeremiah is confessing that he doesn’t have all the answers, and that in fact, he doesn’t even know how to speak.
Sometimes when I’m trying to get my kids attention I actually have to stop them in their tracks, get them to look me in the eye, and then let them know that I have their best intentions in mind, and I have them covered. Like a father gently putting his hand over Jeremiah’s mouth, God says, “Stop right there man. I’ve got this one. I have the words for you. I have the agenda. I have the plan.” In that moment in the locker room, I sat down on the bench and spent the next fifteen minutes in silence, letting go of my day. While my busy brain is still here, I realized I don’t have all the answers and I may not get it all done. Most importantly, God stopped me in my tracks this morning.
What stops you in your tracks?
Dr. Rob McKenna