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Pause & Proclaim

Stepping off the hamster wheel and into life.

This would be a great week to align my priorities to what I believe. Because what I believe is often reflected on what I do.

“There’s a great line in Moby Dick. The sailors are rowing furiously while the whale boat is racing frantically to catch the great whale. But there’s one person in the boat who’s not doing anything. He’s just sitting there, quiet and still. It’s the harpooner, ready to take aim and throw his deadly dart. And Melville writes:

‘To ensure the greatest efficiency in the dark, the harpoonists of this world must start to their feet out of idleness and not out of toil.'”

Les Parrott III

It seems that our fast-paced culture has a problem with idle harpoonists who appear nonproductive. We are more impressed with people who are running from one task to the next. The busier the better. We get caught up in a relentless pace and are never ready to use our gifts and abilities when they are needed most.

Perhaps being busy gives us license to slip out early or be absent altogether. But the greatest sin of busyness is how it can disrupt our relationship with God.

“Busyness is the enemy of spirituality. It’s essentially laziness. It’s doing the easy thing instead of the hard thing. It’s filling our time with our own actions instead of paying attention to God’s actions.”

Eugene Peterson

Busyness can be a distraction that does not enable us to prioritize our life. It can focus on the exterior whirr of activity instead of the precious time filled with what God values most.

It’s fascinating that what God purposes in our lives often takes a leisurely pace. You can’t be in the Word and sacrament in a hurry. I have tried the one-minute meditation and the 60-second prayer. On it’s own, they are not meaningful. Reading God’s Word is hard, but to be meditative on the Word means to step off the hamster wheel and face the thoughts, feelings, and even people we would rather avoid.

You can’t build relationships of trust, nor even proclaim the gospel in a rush.

During holy week, let’s pause and leisurely reflect on what Christ has done for us. Re-visit our priorities and purpose. Quite often, the highest priorities in life take the most energy. That is where God’s Word comes in. In Him, we find the strength, inspiration, and resolve.  

I think that the best evangelists are harpoonists. They wait patiently — quiet and still – ready to strike when the Lord provides a whale of an opportunity to proclaim the Word with all its power.

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