16
Feb
09

Knowing When to Stop

pedestrian-signal-stopIt seems to me that not knowing when to stop, or at least step back and take a breather, is one of the bigger human failings going.

You’re already rich, yet driven to amass more wealth that you don’t really need and neither do your descendents, really.

You threw a punch, and then people are pulling you off the guy because somewhere along the line you decided your fist was a meat tenderizer and the guy’s face was a was a cheap cut of steak.

You’re a successful sports star who’s starting to feel the first signs of slipping, yet you won’t retire gracefully.

You find the time to have sex with dozens upon dozens of partners, yet you won’t take the time to slow down and get to know any one of them as a person to see if there’s a worthwhile relationship you could be having.

You get the idea.

Yet God wants us to stop now and again. Yes, as trite as it sounds, take a break, lean over, and smell the fucking roses. According to the Gospel of Matthew (in chapter 6, verses 25-34), Jesus admonished us that God loves the birds of the air well enough to make sure they get fed and the fields enough to make sure they flower in the spring, so why do we worry so much about where our next meal is coming from? Why don’t we seek after spiritual peace first, and then do our work?

Now, don’t get it twisted up. Jesus wasn’t telling us to sit on our collective asses and expect God to hand us everything. But he was trying to drive home that we shouldn’t be obsessing about what we need when we could simply be having faith in God that we have the skills we need and the means we need to get things taken care of. We shouldn’t be striving for more when we already have enough.

We should know when to stop.

When to stop so that we can get our bearings and ensure we’re still on the right road.

When to stop so that we can be thankful for what we have instead of looking for the next great thing.

When to stop so that other who love us can catch up to us and get some of our time.

When to stop so that we don’t go over a friggin’ cliff.

So be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious crop from his land, being patient with it until it receives the fall and the spring rains. (James chapter 5, verse 7)

The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. (Ecclesiastes chapter 7, verse 8)

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (Psalm 40, verse 1)

Let your hope be in the Lord: take heart and be strong; yes, let your hope be in the Lord. (Psalm 27, verse 14)

Yes, there is a time for everything. A time to plant and a time to sow. A time to laugh and a time to weep. A time to take up arms and a time to pound them into tools instead.

And, yes, a time for action.

But also, a time to just stop.

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

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