To get to the final pasture during feeding chores, you’ve got to open and go through an 18’ wide gate. It’s a whopper. Tall, wide, and heavy. I was in a hurry and shooting for efficiency. I stayed seated on the 4-wheeler, grabbed the gate, rared back with all my might and gave that gate a forceful swing like nobody’s business… knowing shoving it that hard would surely ensure a check mark for “goal accomplished.” Goal being… the gate fully opening up and staying in place. Right? Wrong. That puppy came right back with the same amount of force and knocked me out. Well. Not really. But it came back with a force I was not expecting, did not see coming, and hit the backside of the 4-wheeler as I was driving through. Ugh! So much for efficiency.
And then God spoke.
Jennifer- next time see what happens when you get off the 4-wheeler and try slow and gentle.
So I did.
This every day analogy might be something you need, too. Maybe you are trying to get through something. Maybe something is in your way… whether person, place, or thing. Maybe you need to “swing” something or someone’s perspective from here to there. What’s the goal? It sounds elementary and simple and maybe something you don’t think applies to you, but honestly, it’s a blunt reminder we can all use. If you go about a whopper of a challenge with force, speed, and an imbalanced focus on efficiency without climbing down off your “horse”… you might just get that same whopper of a force coming right back at you. See what happens when you climb off, and try slow and gentle. If it’s anything like this gate, the slow and gentle approach might end up being the most efficient after all.
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scroll for more thoughts for digging deeper, imagery to supplement these thoughts, and comment box for anyone with words to engage!
Words for Digging Deeper
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry; because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20 NIV
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” Psalm 103:8 NIV
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NIV
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:5-6 NIV
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:24-25 NIV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
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