I don't know about you, but I hate to stop. Red lights, traffic jams and airport delays just drive me crazy. I want to keep going, make headway, and not sit and waste time. For me, it's all about the destination, I could care less about the journey. Looking around, I don't think I am alone.
We study Jesus' life much the same way. We see Him going and doing. "Jesus left so-and-so place and went here, and He did this." Jesus went.
However, what I've discovered is that Jesus was extremely powerful and effective when He stopped.
Here are just three of many examples Jesus and the power of stopping
The sermon on the mount. Jesus is surrounded by a multitude (Bible word for a big crowd). He's a rock star. Instead of arrogantly firing up the crowd, performing or just posing for photo ops, He pulls His closest comrades to Him, and on a hill delivers one of the most stirring sermons ever recorded. He starts with the Beatitudes and with these interlocking building blocks, He lays a foundation for who we are in Christ and how we are to live. He stopped. He took the time away from the crowd (and the adulation) to teach, serve and love people. NOTE: as an aside, Steve Berger’s recent teaching on the Beatitudes is excellent and can be found at www.gracechapel.net
The woman at the well. Jesus is traveling and He makes a point to stop in this place. It's not a friendly place by any means and He stops at a water well to talk to this Samaritan woman of questionable reputation. He saves her life that day for Eternity. What if He didn't stop and notice? What if the journey was more important than the few minutes He spent with her? He chose to stop. He chose to meet a need.
The Cross. The ultimate destination becomes the ultimate stopping point. God's son leaves Heaven, comes to earth and makes the ultimate sacrifice for us. He stopped so we could be free. He stopped so we could "go."
Stopping is powerful. Leaders, do you take the time to stop and not just check on what your people are doing, but do you check on their "being"? Do you know who they are aside from what they do? Do you stop long enough to know their strengths? Build them up and care?
Parents, do you stop? I was in a restaurant a few weeks for breakfast. In came a Dad with his six or seven year old son. I thought, "How great, Father and son together for breakfast." To my shock, the Dad props up his iPhone and plays a video for the son (complete with headphones) while he read the newspaper. Their food came, the boy watched the video and they left. Couldn't the Dad stop long enough to talk to his son? Parents, the time goes way too fast. Stop texting, phoning, and going. Stop and talk to your kids. You'll be amazed.
We have to learn from Jesus and stop. We need to take the time and not just enjoy the journey, but get to know and serve people along the way as well. I'm committed to do that, are you?