Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 1 Corinthians 9:26
Ever since I moved back to Hong Kong, I have constantly found myself trying to catch up with the pace of this vibrant city. People talk so fast that I’m always the last one laughing at my friends’ jokes. People walk so fast that whenever I change lines on an MTR platform, I feel like I’m in the middle of a race-walking competition. People act so fast in a “cha chaan teng” that you have to decide what you’re going to eat immediately, because you only get 8 seconds to place your order! Within the next 10 seconds, your 3-course breakfast meal will be presented on your table — not to mention you’re expected to finish your meal within 7 minutes.
We all get used to living in this fast-paced environment. It almost sounds ridiculously impossible when we’re asked to slow down the pace of our lives. But why is everything moving so fast?
- Is it because we want to be efficient?
- Is it because we want to make the most out of our limited time?
- Or, is it because we are afraid to lose?
Paul reminds us of the importance of self-control in 1 Corinthians 9:25. He wants us to set our focus on something that will never perish. Paul didn’t ask us to do things at a slower pace, but he wanted us to remember what the purpose of living is, so that we will not run aimlessly or box like a man beating the air. Paul did it all for the sake of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:23a) and we are reminded that we are all called to be witnesses of God.
To slow down is actually taking time to,
- discern how God wants us to be efficient on reaching the unreached;
- understand how we can make most of our time to be His witnesses;
- not be ashamed of the gospel as we share with other people.
Yes, we need to act fast for the sake of the gospel. We need to have a sense of urgency to be witnesses of God. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to see the spiritual needs of others.
So, the next time we’re talking to our friends, walking across the crowded MTR platform or eating at a “cha chaan teng,” look around at people’s faces and try to observe things from God’s perspective. I am sure you will find someone who is desperate to hear the gospel. God loves each and every single one of them as much as He loves you and me.
Let us slow down and take time by:
- Thanking God for His unique pace and pouring out His strength for us;
- Seeking God’s revelation on how we are to be His witnesses, wherever we are.