I remember seeing a man knocked off the road and lying dead in a pool of blood on a late night last weekend. Couldn’t take the picture out of mind for a while. Next day when I met a friend who stays near that place and told him about the accident, he responded saying that’s an accident prone road because of the lack of any speed breakers on that road! That made me think a lot about travelling slow, not just in vehicles on the road, but also in this journey called LIFE, especially if you are involved in ministry. Here are a few thoughts that came to my heart, and am sharing it!
Types of Speed Breakers:
Most times these experiences are very instantaneous, we don’t see them coming. Speed breakers in Christian life, especially for ministers could fall into one of the following areas of his/her life.
- It could be a moral breakdown, including mishandling of finances or a character fault showing up or exposed!
- it can be a tough time one’s going through within the family. It could include non-supportive or abusive parents, non-supportive, non-understanding or unfaithful spouses or rebellious children. This, I believe is the toughest speed breaker to overcome! When it’s a character fault, it can be dealt with easily than the one with problems within the family.
- Then it could be mighty opposition from people around you, including believers or also at times problems due to giving in to the peer/lover pressure and the influence of the world around us.
- It could also be a divinely orchestrated hurdle in your way, like the speaking donkey of Balam, or natural disasters or physical illness like what Job experienced. Remember that Satan cannot move a hair on your head without prior permission from the Supreme Court in heaven!
Whatever be the speed breakers in your life, the bible says, God can turn it around for your good and to build you up. Some of them are mere experiences given to teach you, others are meant to discipline you.
Purpose of Speed Breakers:
- To Slow you down: Sometimes we tend to become time oriented and aim at getting things done and accomplishing projects in a stipulated amount of time that we almost try to run ahead of God’s plan or will for our lives. The danger in moving too fast is not just that you would miss the beauty and enjoyment of travelling with God but also that in travelling fast you endanger ignoring, overlooking or clashing against so many lives who were probably expected to be ministered to, by you, had you been a little slow and sensitive to understand that!
- To Refocus your vision: Often when we travel fast we get so caught up with the excitement and the momentum of the ministry and our personal lives that we loose sight of our ultimate destination. We loose sight of our vision, and what God had actually called us for. It is when we are travelling the fastest that we are prone to take the most wrong turns and end up in the wrong destinations!
- To Play by the rules: Speed breakers in our lives and ministry allows us enough time to think and get deeper into the word of God. It gives us enough room to let God’s word confront us with the consistent mistakes in our life or ministry and educate us about the divine biblical principles to be applied in life and ministry. As long as our foundations are in line with the word of God, we will be able to stand strong even in the toughest of storms raging against our lives and ministries.
- To Humble you: Paul mentions about the thorn in his flesh. He says, God allowed it in his life to keep him humble! Wow, God could allow things of the enemy in our lives, if that’s what takes to keep us humble. Remember, if there’s any sin that God hates the most, it is pride, especially spiritual pride! God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Lets not be ones whom the creator of the world will want to resist, but the ones he will want to pour his grace into!
- To Expose your vulnerabilities: Some of these experiences are testing times in our lives trying to tell us what our strengths and weaknesses are. Moses when faced with the opposition in the wilderness realized that he still had a little of the old Egyptian short temper. Such tests coming our way are really healthy, it helps us to avoid a lot of similar experiences in the days ahead.
Hebrews 12:1 exhorts us to strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. It says Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joys awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. This is the perfect guideline to overcome hurdles and obstacles coming our way! There are some speed breakers that cannot be categorized as sin, that will still slow us down. Slowing down is essential and important, however that does not mean we loose the momentum and continue to move slow! Not at all! These are the last days, perhaps the last minutes or seconds! We cannot spend an entire lifetime overcoming speed breakers! We have to overcome everything, that slows us down, whether sinful or not! Else we will become stagnant. How do we do it? By keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, on his lifestyle, on his ministry style, on the way he handled relationships, the way he handled the storms in his life, the way he handled oppositions to his ministry! He is the author and also the finisher of our faith! Let us look at him and let us endure the speed breakers in our lives, disregarding the shame in it but never failing to press on to the upward and heavenly call we have in Christ Jesus!