Saturday, May 20, 2017

Pacemakers and Pacesetters

(Great-grandma's brag time: At the left is one of my-sweet-as-honey great-granddaughters Karis Leona Choy learning early to take the "pause that refreshes" any time the opportunity presents itself.)

In the Western world we use the term "stop and smell the roses" to indicate the longing to slow our pace to enjoy life more. The Chinese proverb expresses it in a caution not to "gallop through a flower garden on horseback." Both indicate a desire for a life without a heavy foot on the accelerator.

The title of the poem below by Japanese author Toki Miyashina is obviously her version of Psalm 23. By the title I'm sure she doesn't mean "pacemaker" in the sense of the small device surgically inserted under the skin of the chest to remedy heart rhythm disorders that arise from disease in the heart's electrical conduction system. The normal heart has its own pacemaker designed by God that regulates the rate at which the heart beats.

Surely Toki means her meditation in the sense of "pacesetter," as I do when I walk with a friend along our country road. Because of my diminished breathing capacity due to a previous lung cancer surgery, unfortunately I'm the one who must set the pace to slow, almost a stroll. On the contrary, when we walk with Jesus daily, let's allow Him to set the pace. He leads us but we walk beside Him as our Pacesetter. There are times when we must run to catch up with Him, and times when He has to hold us back from running ahead of Him. And times when we tend to drag our feet and lag behind. Fast is not the preferred pace. Waiting on the Lord is the perfect pace.

One of the recent books I've published, Selah Reflections, I subtitled Press the PAUSE button, which is the counsel many of us need most in our hectic lives. It is also what the term "Selah" is thought to express when it is used in the Psalms: "Pause, slow down, think quietly about the meaning of life, and adjust your ways."

The Lord is My Pacemaker

The Lord is my pacemaker - I shall not rush.
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals:
He provides me with images of stillness,
Which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency
Through calmness of mind, and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things
To accomplish each day, I will not fret -
for His Presence is here:
His timelessness, His importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal
In the midst of my activity,
By anointing my mind with his oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness
Shall be the fruits of my hours;
For I shall live in His house forever. 


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