Slow down and take a good look at yourself

I can still remember my mother telling me to look both ways before you cross the street, or honey slow down and enjoy your food, or not so fast or you may trip and fall. Of course, my mother was only looking out for me and didn’t want me to get hurt. Over time, and still to this day, I am learning the value of slowing down and taking a good look at myself and life and then wondering if I was or even wanted to walk with God or perhaps I had run too fast and too far thinking I can do this whole Life, Faith, Spirituality or Religious thing on my own.

In Jesus’ day, he watched as religious men would fast and pray and give to the needy, but their reasons had become selfish. They did these things to show off and say look at me how great I am and how good I am and so Jesus says of such people and their motives, “They have received their reward.” God was no longer their companion on the journey of life, but a distant memory. They had run too fast and far without taking the time to take a good look at both God’s way and the world’s way. They had tripped and fallen into the trap of an empty religion void of God and his love. They were going through the motions without taking the time to slow down and wonder why do I pray or too whom, why would I even consider the spiritual discipline of fasting and what are my reasons for giving to the needy. If they had chosen to slow down and walk with the Lord, then they could just look up at the one who holds our hand and helps us to see things the way God does. My Grandfather called looking through the Eyes of God, “True Wisdom.”

Jesus said, “For where your Treasure is, there your Heart will be also.” My Treasure is the Unconditional Love of God that changed my life forever. Too many people are running too fast and too far and not looking both ways, we eat too fast and tend to forget how hungry our souls have become or we end up tripping over our mistakes and fears time and time again. When we learn to slow down and ponder the things of God, then we can begin to take the Father’s hand who teaches us how to pray, fast and give to needy in such a way that brings the Lord joy, makes this world a better place to live and serves a greater purpose then just personal satisfaction. Friends, dare to slow down and search your heart. What or where is your treasure and is it truly worth anything? To God be the Glory Now and Forever. Amen

Rev. Brian Dykema is the pastor of the Johnstown Reformed Church in Johnstown.

By Patricia Older

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