Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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For several years, we had a Latin American outreach base in Mexico where our Latin American version of a youth broadcast was recorded. My limited Spanish didn't get me very far in Mexico. I mean, how much meaningful communication can you have when all you know are words like grande and mucho? "You look grande today." Well, the Director of our Latin American Ministry at the time was a wonderful translator and he was my best hope of communicating while I was there. Needless to say, I always lit up when someone was fluent in English there. I could converse unassisted!
In the course of talking with one bilingual, Mexican gentleman, I learned he was involved with automobile racing in that country, sort of the Mexican NASCAR. When I asked him if they have anything like America's Indianapolis 500, he told me they didn't do long distance races like that. They can't. Then I asked him about the pressure of repairing a race car during one of those pit stops, and he informed me that they don't have pit stops. They don't stop. See, they can't go as far as cars that do.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No Pit Stops."
Cars cannot run indefinitely without stopping to be serviced. Hello! Neither can people. So God builds in pit stops. Our word for today from the Word of God, the familiar words of Psalm 23:1, "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." Notice what kind of things our Shepherd leads us to. "He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul."
God leads us along paths where we will lie down. You have to stop, of course, to lie down. And the reason for stopping is to restore your soul. Sounds remarkably like cars in long, demanding races. They occasionally leave the race for some servicing – for a pit stop. It's interesting that in Mexico, where they apparently don't stop, they can't finish a long-distance race. Well, neither can you. That's how God created you.
Maybe you're really caught up in your race right now, and God's Sabbath principle is out the window. He has built pit stops into our creation. But you've been running so hard and so fast lately, that you keep saying, "I can't stop now. I'll pull over later. I've got to keep driving." And the longer you go without rest, the crankier you become, more impatient, more prone to errors in judgment, less creative, more mechanical, and you're less caring. You weren't made to run like this. Eventually, you'll burn up or burn out if you keep driving without stopping.
If you're consistently running without stopping, you are running right past your Shepherd, whose will for you includes regular rest and regular restoring. There's nothing noble about running yourself to death. In fact, there's something very wrong with it. If you don't choose to lie down, the Shepherd may literally "make" you lie down. If you don't get your Sabbaths, maybe one day they will come and get you. And you'll be able to run a much longer race if you take time for pit stops. Without those stops, you may be able to run real hard, but not nearly as long as those who stop.
Maybe you're addicted to your own adrenaline right now, to your own momentum. You need to stop for God's love; for God's servicing. You need regular refills of time with Him, of His perspective on what you're doing, of His refocusing you on the people you love, and of His wonderful restoring. But He won't chase you around the track with an oil can. No, He'll service you when you stop.
It's time to, as God commanded us, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). In your day, in your week, in your month, take time for a pit stop. It's stopping that ultimately keeps you running.