When God Says, Slow Down!
What do you do when God says, slow down? Do you argue? “But I’m too busy doing your work to slow down. How could you ask me to do this?” Do you bargain? “I’ll slow down as soon as I finish this project or this event.” Of course, there will always be another project or event in the works. Or, like me, do you whine? “How can I go any slower than I already am?”
If you’ve been following my blog posts since January, you know I’ve been going slower. There were two major trips outside of the country between then and now, one planned for, the other a pleasant surprise. And then there’s sickness that comes every winter, and the need to slow down because of winter weather. With signs of spring appearing, I’m ready to rev the engines and pick up steam to make up for lost time, only to have God tell me to slow down.
I’m behind where I wanted to be with my NaNoWriMo novel. I’ve yet to fill in the substantial gaps I have between the end of January in the novel and the end of summer. I’m closer now but I still have at least two critical scenes to write, besides revising and editing before it is ready for beta readers followed by another round of editing.
Yet, when I came to God in prayer this week, the message I received was to slow down. Slow down lest you put out a book before it’s time. Take time to go deeper into the theme and not just what it means to the characters, but what if means for you as well.
The message to go deeper is not a new one for me. I’ve received this before with earlier books. When stuck in the mushy middle, unsure how to get my characters out of the muck, God would tell me to go deeper into those characters. What are their hopes, dreams and fears? What keeps them going, their motivation? Don’t stay in the shallows, go out into deep water. Take your characters there. And so, I would go deeper.
This time, though, God was telling me to slow down, lest I miss something important. What’s the hurry anyway? I only have a self-imposed deadline, nothing set in concrete. Why rush through this book? Enjoy the process.
Why? So I can put it behind me and cross it off my list. So I can take a break and then start a new book and experience the fun of new beginnings. I love coming up with new ideas. During January, when I “should” have been working on this project, I found my mind moving ahead to future projects, planning out more books in the series. I allowed myself this luxury because knowing where I was headed in the series would help me with the two books I’m currently working on. At some point, though, you have to get back to work and finish the book. That’s what I’m trying to do, but not at the risk of rushing through to the end without giving it the time and attention it deserves.
Slow Down Lest I Miss What God Wants to Teach
And so, God is telling me to slow down, finish one project before I move on to another. Make sure I receive the full benefit of what I’m writing. And what is that benefit? Aren’t I writing for you, God, and your people? Yes, but I’m also writing for myself. There is something for me to learn in each book I write. So, slow down, lest I miss what God wants to teach me through this book, lest I write a book that is less than God wants from me.
So, what do I do when God says slow down? I slow down because God has intentions I don’t know about. When God says slow down, there’s always good reasons.
What do you do when God says, slow down? What has been your experience with this? I’d love to hear from you.
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