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Spiritual Direction #17



Many people describe our world as a ‘rat race’ and complain that they are on a ‘treadmill’ which they feel unable to get off. They have a sense that their life is ‘out of their control’.

That is why stopping is a spiritual discipline. We need to be able to stop and take stock, stop and reflect, stop and order our private world in a way that will glorify God, help others, and benefit ourselves.

We often measure our spirituality by our ability to ‘go’. For example, God told us all to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). He told Paul to go to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21). He told Ananias to go and pray for Paul (Acts 9:15). Go, go, go! 

But He also told us to stop grumbling (John 6:43). He told Thomas to stop doubting (John 20:27). He told the healed man to stop sinning (John 5:14).

Maybe Paul’s ability to be stopped by the Spirit of God (Acts 16:6-7) is as much of an indicator of his spirituality as his ability to be sent by the Spirit of God (Acts 16:8-10).

Many servants of God become weary in welldoing or, worse still, suffer burnout because of their inability to stop. Perhaps we should heed God’s counsel to Job: “…Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders…” (Job 37:14).

Do you find it difficult to stop working?

Do you feel guilty when you have stopped for recreation or meditation?

Do you obey the Holy Spirit’s stop signs


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