Okay, I wish I had all the time in the world to get to places I need to go. Usually, that’s just not possible. I’m moving pretty fast – sometimes too fast. Recently, I was on the verge of being late, and I was driving in a very unfamiliar place. You probably know the feeling of trying to follow directions to a new place, you’re looking for your turn, and suddenly you’re driving a long way without seeing your turn. This was one of those days for me. And the reason I was driving so far was because I had missed the place I was supposed to turn. And I missed it because I was going too fast. So, of course, it actually took me longer to get where I was supposed to be.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about “Speeding Past the Right Road.”
Because I’ve missed too many roads in my life because I was going too fast to see them, I was arrested the other day – not by a police officer, but by a Bible verse. It’s our word for today from the Word of God. Proverbs 19:2 says, “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty (Listen now.) and miss the way.” How many times have you and I missed the way because we were being too hasty?
I remember in high school when they were teaching us to type, we weren’t just graded on how many words per minute we could type. All that counted was the number of correct words per minute. You know speed isn’t all that matters in life. Getting it right matters more! And speed often diminishes accuracy…especially in making wise choices. You may, in fact, be reaping right now the unpleasant harvest of some hasty decisions you made in the past. You were going so fast that you sped right past the right road. Let’s learn from those mistakes, slow down and get it right!
Moving fast works against some key factors in making decisions that we won’t regret later on; like time to pray, for example. In our haste to get things out of the way, we often forget to check with heaven. King Jehoshaphat gave this wise counsel to King Ahab on the eve of a battle he should have never been involved in. He said, “First, seek the counsel of the Lord” (1 Kings 22:5). We all ought to have that hanging in some prominent place in front of us all day long! “First, seek the counsel of the Lord.” By the way, Ahab died in that battle that day. We’re moving way too fast when we’re in too much of a hurry to slow down and listen to the Lord.
Speeding also means we tend to neglect getting all the facts. Next to this “don’t be hasty and miss the way” verse in my Bible, I’ve written these words, “Do your homework!” Now, often, slowing down to assess all the available information – including the future ramifications of your options – can save us a lot of grief. Another factor we speed by is taking time to seek godly advice. Proverbs 20:18 counsels us to “make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.” Talk to others who’ve been there; get the objectivity of someone who follows the Lord and who isn’t as close to your situation as you are.
All these wise steps, though, take some time. And if you’re moving too fast, you’re going to miss the steps that make for wise choices and happy endings. By the way, there’s another danger in going too fast. You have a tendency to run right over people. And you may have left some hit-and-run victims in your wake; you ran over them on your way to your wonderful goal.
Take it from a man who has too often missed the way that he should have gone. When you’re moving too fast…well, you tend to make a lot of mistakes. And you often end up going very fast in the wrong direction!