An Everyday Lesson

L ast month, I headed off to Iceland ready for an adventure… and also asking God for a big revelation about the trajectory of my life.

The daily grind of work, life in the COVID era, and personal commitments had worn me out. I was excited to spend time with a friend on a week-long road trip. As the trip began, I asked God to remove the distractions from my life so my heart could hear what He wanted to say to me.  What He wanted to say was surprisingly simple.  Slow down.

Glacier ice on the black sand beaches.

Within minutes of arriving in Iceland, I felt like I was on another planet. I was overwhelmed by sights that I couldn’t quite comprehend were real. Bits of ice from a glacier washed ashore the black sand. A small remote church on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The Vestrahorn mountain aglow in late evening light.

Lupine fields overlook the Skógafoss waterfall.

Each morning, my friend and I would pull over on the side of the road and spend time with the Lord. And within the first few days of adventuring, God so clearly told me “It’s time to slow down. My people are more important than checking things off your list.” God made it clear that I needed to view opportunities share His love the same way I had been viewing the spellbinding scenery.

Church on the Snæfellsnes peninsula

 

As I returned home with this important truth, I began to reflect on the importance of slowing down and engaging with the people around me.

Day after day, I work at my to-do list, and if there’s time left, only then does my focus turn to the people around me. God made it clear in Iceland that I’ve got it wrong:  part of finding rest is focusing on what matters.  We’ve been called by God to love others. And how can we possibly do this well when we’re running from one thing to another at warp speed?

People > getting things done

In Luke 9, Jesus and his apostles head off to a town called Bethsaida.  Crowds caught wind of where Jesus was headed and followed him.  Instead of being inconvenienced by the disruption to His journey, Jesus welcomed them gladly and healed those in need of healing.  Jesus understood that engaging with people is more important than getting things done.

God met me in a once-in-a-lifetime place to teach me a critical everyday lesson: how well we love will always be more important than how much we get done.

Hebrews 13:1-3 and Matthew 25:31-46 are two scriptures that press upon us the importance of loving others.

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