Rattle And Screech

By in Devotions

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of ChristEphesians 4:11-13

Insight

I drive a 2001 Ford Focus so I don’t much pay attention to the tachometer. That gauge is pretty much irrelevant. When I turn on the ignition, I’m more concerned my car starts than the RPM it is producing. 50MPH is about as fast as it goes and that’s when it is coasting downhill. Anything over that speed makes the car grumpy. It begins to rattle and screech, letting me know not to push my luck. If I get anywhere close to the Red Line, there is a good chance the car might combust. Over the years, I’ve learned the limits of the Focus and have come to the realization that it’s an “in town” car as in if I take it on the highway it’s a goner.

The tachometer on a worn out Ford Focus might be irrelevant, but the gauges that exist in our heart, mind and soul should be of utter importance. There is a Red Line that exists for each one of us. Unfortunately, our tachometers tend to run hot in the overheated category. Since we have nothing to govern us, we push our lives to the limit.

We are driven, but don’t know where we are headed.

Perfection pulls us while fear pushes us. Deep down inside we also have this fear we are going to miss out. We are driven by our fears more than our pursuits. We’ve become rotten with perfection. We have this mindset that “If I can just get this, or if I can just achieve that then my life will be perfect….I’ll finally experience this FULL life.” We are chasing perfection with this destination thinking and it is driving us insane. We push and push and push hoping that once we achieve what we are chasing, then we can slow down, enjoy and be satisfied. But, perfection and satisfaction never come. The full life is nowhere to be found.

When is enough….enough? Where is your Red Line? What is God calling you to do? These are questions that often remain unanswered. Why? Because we never stop long enough to ask the questions in the first place. Knowing ourselves requires us to know our own Red Line.

Without knowing ourselves, we will drive in a million different directions at lightening speed.

Too many options paralyze us and breeds in us a sense of discontentment. With all the available options, we wonder if we didn’t choose well. When anything is possible, everything is possible so in the end nothing is possible. We second-guess our decisions. We compare and compete with others which inhibits integrity from taking root in our lives. No one ever hopes that life turns out terrible. But, somewhere along the way we give up. We don’t stop chasing, but we just remain in park spinning our wheels. Our RPM’s rev, but our lives remain still and we are unmoved.

It’s hard to walk with God when we are running so fast after everything else.

We are chasing perfection as if it was a destination. But, when we look at how the Bible speaks of perfection, we get a completely different picture. Perfection is more about satisfaction than it is excellence. Contentment breeds integrity. We need to develop a deep sense of satisfaction that centers on the process of our growth. God is more concerned about what we are becoming than what we are doing, but what we do is very important.

Perfection, from a Biblical perspective, means complete and done. When the word ‘teleios’ is mentioned in Scripture, the heart behind it is one concerned with the transformation of our mind, heart and character. It speaks about maturity and focus. Walking in our security in Christ should drive our direction, define our priorities and determine what we pursue. When we know ourselves, we never have to prove ourselves to anybody else. God doesn’t want us to be someone else, He desires for us to exactly who he made each of us to be. He has placed a call on each of our lives.

Knowing that calling requires the eyes of our hearts to be opened. Our call is simply what God has asked us to do and what He’s entrusted to our care.  We must know God in order to know ourselves. God will never do something with us without doing something in us first.  We can’t bypass the process.

Talking about God’s call for your life can be very intimidating. It may seem like such a big undertaking that you don’t know where to start. There may also be a fear of being wrong or a fear of misinterpreting that call that makes you hesitate to move. You may push in different directions due to a feeling of futility. But, what if we replaced this sense of futility with a sense of curiosity? What if we took the time to get to know ourselves: learning our strengths, weakness and pace? In order to be yourself, you must know yourself.

Reflection

  • How would you describe your current pace of life?
  • What are some warning signs alerting you that you are at or over the Red Line?

Prayer

God, help me to pause long enough to reflect on the pace of my life. Expose the reasons why I push so hard. I desire for my motives to pure and honor You. May my life serve as an offering to You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.