Some things in life just stick with you: memories, joys, pains, milestones. Sometimes rather random things just seem stapled to your brain, for only God knows what reason. One phrase that has stuck with me ever since our STINT year in Azerbiajan has been the Azeri phrase “yavash yavash.” The phrase is really a bit nonsensical but can loosely be translated “slowly, slowly.” For whatever reason, this phrase has always had a special connotation for me.
finding that, much to my surprise, I’m a rather driven guy. I want things done, and I want them done
well. I want to succeed, to accomplish
big things, to, literally, change the world.
This has been a huge impetus to our mission and ministry. This is usually a good thing. But in the midst of hurt or disorientation,
being deeply driven to head somewhere or do something can be somewhat
destructive. Consider yourself in a fog:
should you choose to just run off wildly in one direction or another, there is
no telling the danger you may run into.
That’s my tendency.
What I have needed—and here is why yavash,
yavash has always appealed to me—is a calming force. A present sign of the slowness of the
spiritual life. A gentle reminder that
though crazy things aren’t happening every day, God is indeed moving. A nudge to remain faithful in the midst of
Perhaps you need to hear the Lord whisper the same thing to you? Perhaps you could benefit from instead of seeing all the ebbs and flows of the day-to-day grind as distractions and little annoying interruptions, you could see them as God-given gifts of change in a turn-style world? To slow down and breathe deeply in the reality of God’s pace and His presence is beginning to open new doors for me in my relationship with Him, His people, and His world. This is a world that, I believe, most assuredly does not need more Christian rat-racers, but more people walking in the peace, comfort, and joy of a meditative spirituality led by Christ.
This has been a rather fun lesson to learn. We look forward to sharing with you more of the fruit that we feel God has been graciously giving us as a result of this mindset change.