Slow down to stop the voices

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Rupert did everything quickly. He drove, shopped, worked and even slept quickly. His reputation for efficiency, intuition, decisiveness in his business brought him the success and wealth he had set out to achieve.

All the while there was a ghost haunting him within. Instead of howling indistinguishable sounds from within his soul there was a chant: "If you have all this, why are you unhappy?"

Attempting to quiet the haunting, Rupert took up fly fishing. He knew money and possessions could not buy happiness but the people in the magazines who are fly fishing certainly looked content.

He spent a week in Montana learning the art of casting. The competing voices began to quiet. To his surprise, when the competing voices left he heard nothing, and that was worse.

One morning he saw a plaque of simple barn wood that read "and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. Proverbs 19:2b."

He went to see Jack, the lodge owner, to inquire about the sign.

Jack spoke with a tone of great literary and pastoral knowledge, "God had been speaking to me, chasing me really, but I ignored his prose. I was too busy to listen. One day I read these words and realized that not only have I missed my way, I had no way. I began to slow and listen to that voice. I began to read the Bible and could see the way that I really was looking for. I began to see that God loved me and that my way filled me with emptiness but his way, his path brought the indescribable peace and joy that I had been looking for my entire life."

Between casts and into the night he and Jack talked of God, matters of unshakable faith and the only path the Bible describes, the path through Christ, that leads to peace.

Rupert left a changed man. He still drives in the fast lane, still multitasks more than he should. But the voice of emptiness that was chasing him is no longer there. Now he is on the path that God has for him.

His relationships are still rough but better. Years of neglect takes time and intention to repair.

Rupert is a different person after hearing that God has a path and a purpose for his life.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father and serves as the associate pastor at the First Baptist Church in Jackson.

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