A couple of days ago an article I read referenced the book, Three Mile per Hour God. The idea of this book is that God’s preferred pace is 3 miles per hour—walking speed—and that we miss a great deal of what God has for us because we prefer freeway speed. This is particularly significant when it comes to our spiritual growth. It reminds us that speed is not the primary value in the process.
What happens at 3 MPH? When you’re with someone at that pace, you can converse leisurely. This doesn’t mean you avoid serious topics. It means that you have the time to fully discuss whatever the topic happens to be. And with that kind of leisure, you learn a great deal about your conversation partner. At 3 MPH you’re not hard-pressed for a quick or simplistic solution to a thorny issue. You can spread out your thoughts and walk through their implications. When you make this a habit with God, you get to know God rather than simply acquiring information about God. You learn that knowing God is more valuable than discovering the “answer” to a vexing question. Very likely you’ll arrive at an answer in due time, but it will come on the basis of knowing God rather than sorting through a list of possible conclusions.
At 3 MPH you’re not going to cover as much ground as you normally think necessary. What you “lose” in distance you gain in knowledge (and here I mean first-hand knowledge that comes from experience not TED talks or podcasts). Learning to limit your pace to 3 MPH will take effort. We’re a fast-track culture. We have little patience for long-term outcomes. Something I’ve realized at 3 MPH is that I was typically the only one in the spiritual partnership who thought our goal was a particular destination—when I “reach” that place, THEN I’ll arrive at what my soul has needed. It occurred to me that my conversation partner is always already there everywhere we are. God is not “going” anywhere. Everywhere is a constant in God’s realm. So the point is not to “arrive” somewhere, but to know Someone. And as long as I know that Someone, where I am is inconsequential. This doesn’t mean I don’t have goals or dreams. It does mean that they emerge within the context of a 3 MPH relationship with God through Jesus Christ. What my soul most needs is to be present to God, which means I work at slowing down my inner world to the default setting of 3 MPH. What does your inner speedometer register? What’s your inner pace? What do you need to do to get to the default setting?
A quick reminder—10K Villages kicks off today, this afternoon at 4PM and tomorrow beginning at 10AM. How does a church our size impact the world? This is one way. We provide a place for people in developing communities around the world to market hand-crafted goods helping them to become self-sustaining. When you purchase here, you directly impact an artisan, a family, a community. Your purchase makes a tangible difference in their well-being, which is another way of saying, “love your neighbor as yourself.” Swing by to find a unique addition to your home or gift list.
AND, remember to set your clock back Saturday night. If you forget, come down to the lower level and join in on the adult class meeting in fellowship hall at 9AM. You are welcome.
See you Sunday!