Many of you who know me, know that I drive a lot … a whole lot! I live in Cobb County, pastor a church in Fayetteville, GA, have a child whose school and extra-curricular activities are in Buckhead, and a wife who lives in Winston-Salem, NC. Recently I bought a new car in August and 5 months later, I have almost put 30,000 miles on my car. For this reason, I bought a Ford Fusion Hybrid. Had I not, you might have seen me on the highway with a sign that read, “Will Preach for Gas Money.” I have thoroughly enjoyed the Hybrid as it has saved me some $200-$300 in gas each month. There is only one part of the Hybrid, I do not like … it has little to NO get up and go.
One of the great things about my car is that it can tell you during each tank of gas how many miles per gallon you are averaging. Because of this, I have realized how hills, traffic, and highways affect gas mileage. However, the one thing that drives my gas mileage per gallon down more than anything else is acceleration. Whenever I accelerate, my car uses more energy, effort and gas than at any other time. My car spends less gas driving consistently at 80 mph (not that I drive that fast, wink) than it does getting to 80mph. Do not drive by this point, because there is a principle here. It takes more effort and energy to gain speed than it does to keep the speed we gain.
This sounds simple enough when it comes to cars, but we miss this very fundamental point all the time in our lives. So much of our growth, success, and happiness is based on our ability to change speed. The power to break the habit, change our lifestyle or initiate a new practice is dependent on changes of speed. However, many of us are trying to change our lives without changing our speed. We want greater results without greater effort, to have more without doing more or radical change with minimal energy. Unfortunately, we bring God into this by exercising a “let go and let God” strategy, where we hope, pray, and plead for God to make us go faster without burning any of our own gas.
So, I’ve got tough news for you. It may be you are not going where you want to go as fast as you want to get there because you are more interested in saving gas than burning gas. Yet, I want to encourage you to consider today that getting to a higher speed is the most exhausting thing in the world. It will take more out of you, drain more from you and ask more of you than anything in the world. You will be more tired! You will lose more sleep! You will have less energy! However, just like my Hybrid, our ability to maintain at a high speed takes less energy than getting there. Once we get the degree, improve the marriage, get the business up and running, make the spiritual habit, life does offer us moments to go in cruise control. Now of course living life at 80mph, takes more than living life at 20mph. But it is the getting to 80 that takes the most energy. The next move in your life will only be as great as the extra energy you are willing to exert. So get some sleep, eat a good breakfast, get in the car and gas up!
Humbly in Christ’s Love,
Pastor B.A. Jackson