“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength ” (Isaiah 30:15). The Bible doesn’t promote hurry. The only verse I can remember any preachers or anybody else using to try to make us rush was, “The king’s business required haste” (1 Samuel 21:8). But for that one Scripture, I think there must be a hundred that tell us to go slow, or words to that effect—even to take it easy.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). When you get under too much pressure and too much tension, too heavy a burden and too hard a yoke, it’s not God’s fault. It is somebody else’s fault, or your own!
Maybe that’s why God created mules and donkeys—as an illustration of how we should pace ourselves. They are plodders; they are very slow, but they have more endurance and can carry heavier loads than horses. They are the workhorses of the backwoods. They can negotiate trails that horses would kill themselves on, carrying loads for miles that a horse couldn’t, especially not a racehorse.
Racehorses can spurt for a few rounds around the track, and that’s it! They’re extremely high- strung, nervous, and are just not workhorses. They’re not plodders; they’re not load carriers. But pack mules and donkeys are—and they’re as stubborn as they come! You cannot rush them. You have to do it slowly, in their time. They just plod along, but they do it and they get there. It’s like Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare: The tortoise was slow but he got there!
You can have the emotion and you can have the speed; I’ll take the low road and the slow road. You can take the high road and get there first if you want to—if you get there at all—but I’m going to take the low road and the slow road, and I’m determined to get there in one piece, no matter how long it takes.
I can’t count the times I’ve told taxi drivers, “Go slow and you live longer. Live fast and you’ll die quicker.” That certainly is true. Doctors and health experts have said that pressure and tension is killing people, and that many of today’s illnesses are either from pressure and tension, or improper diet. Pressure and speed are killing people through heart trouble, nervous trouble, and high blood pressure.
Lord help us to go slow! We shouldn’t waste time, but we need to trust the Lord instead of being rushed and impatient. Patience indicates slowness, plodding along, doing our work persistently, and not wasting time, but also not getting fretful and worried and all worked up about it. Impatience is marked by speed, hurry, rush, haste, push, pressure, tension! Patience shows faith. Impatience shows lack of faith. Impatience shows that we don’t think the job is going to get done unless we hurry and push it and rush it.
But if we’ve got faith that Jesus is going to take care of it somehow, we can afford to be patient and go slow and do it right.