It’s important to never stop being a student. God wants that for us. He wants us to be teachable children, not striving for grades, but desiring to be schooled in His ways and in honor and in Christ.

It’s not selfish to say ‘no’ to things to spend time with God. In fact, it’s one of the most selfless things you can to serve others, because you can’t teach what you don’t know. It can feel like a sacrifice, spending time in stillness when you could be spinning around on that Ferris wheel of crazy with friends non-stop.

But if I want to know God, I have to spend time in His company. If I want to share God, I have to know the Spirit, who speaks more strongly to anyone than any theological discussion or debate ever could. Theology is about God. Spirit is God. Theology, I’m learning, is important for maturity, but Spirit can break down in one second walls that theological debates for decades can’t. Yeah, I know that. I was that girl.

Here’s another one: You can’t give what you don’t have. I was five weeks in to my new job and doing well, but also feeling like I kept hitting this wall at the end of every day. I was evaluating 6 or 7 patients. That’s fine, and my manager was fine with it, but I knew that there should have been some days I was able to see more like 8 or 9. I ran from floor to floor of the hospital trying to find someone on our caseload not at their seventh imaging test of the day or with a nurse I could find on the floor (we need to check with the nurses prior to treating).

When I’d finally get the okay on that next person, I’d try to slow down from the rush so I could bring peace into the room with me. But after all that, do you think I really felt peace? And if I didn’t have it, I couldn’t give it. I brought a counterfeit, feigned calm, into the room instead.

A funny thing happened that day that I decided to slow my walk over from our rehab tower to the hospital. I soaked in a few moments of God. I slowed my pace. I found peace. I didn’t have to act it into existence as I entered the room. I carried peace into the room with me. I evaluated 8 people that day. And since then, I’ve consistently hit 7-10 eval/treats a day. It makes no sense. Slow my pace. Enjoy more. Do more. Spread more peace. It’s kind of a no-brainer.

So I guess what I’m saying is this: what we want to give, we have to pursue between ourselves and Christ first. If we want to give peace, we need to experience His peace first. If we want to have a word for others, we need to hear his word for ourselves first. If we want to share tenderness and empathy, we need to feel his tenderness and empathy. I’m finding that the slower rhythms are the smooth waves that those float in on.

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