I’m pretty impatient. I’d rather get something done today than have it drag out for months. It probably comes with the territory of being young. One area of wisdom is a sense of pace—that sense of working hard without losing perspective and not spilling all your resources too quickly.
I teach my six-year-old’s soccer team, a group of boys with no sense of pace. It’s either full go or full stop. No sense of using energy appropriately. Frankly that’s not always confined to young boys, but older people can help us learn a sense of pace.
One Bible example is Moses and Jethro in Exodus 18. Moses was burning the candle at both ends, trying to solve everyone’s problems, and Jethro came along and noticed. He provided a sense of pace, a solution to give strength so Moses would be able to endure (Exodus 18:23). Pace involves knowing the limits of my resources and energy and not spending my reserves inappropriately or ineffectively.
Pace also involves expectations. As young people, we might not know when we are working too hard or too easy. If you’re running, how hard should you be breathing at ‘x’ pace? Paul gave Timothy a sense of appropriate pace in 1 and 2 Timothy, explaining how the church should be functioning and how Timothy should be leading in the church. He told Timothy to expect problems, and gave him guidelines to handle those situations. He told Timothy to expect rewards and enjoy those rewards. Sometimes young guys expect no problems and sometimes they expect too many. Older guys can help give a sense of pace in our pursuit of leading the church and seeing God work.
Search out the Scriptures and see God’s patience with us to give you a sense of pace. Ask older people in your church, What do I seem impatient about in ministry? Ask older pastors, How have you sustained yourself in fervency for ministry all these years? Thank God for His wisdom by sharing ministry together!
Will Hatfield, Campus Baptist Church, Ames, Iowa