Walk, Don’t Run

As a kid, my mother sometimes told me “Walk, don’t run”; especially if I was carrying scissors! It was good advice, not just for those dangerous moments but for all of life.

A few years ago, when Dr. John Jackson stepped into the presidency at William Jessup University, a mentor/friend advised him in his first year to run as fast as he could, and in the second year … run faster. That advice reflects our culture. Speed is everything and faster is better. But it typically leads to death, not life.

No runningWang Mingdao, one of China’s most famous church pastors of the last century, once asked a young man, “How do you walk with God?” The understudy started listing off spiritual disciplines and Christian activities, “Wrong answer,” retorted Mingdao. “To walk with God you must go at walking pace.”

How do we walk with Jesus when we are running through life?

Is it possible that we have grown so convinced of the urgency of everything around us that we have pressed past the Lord’s timing?

Jesus came to save the world, yet He lived in virtual obscurity for 30 years. Imagine what He might have been able to do for the Kingdom of God had He launched into a ministry immediately after His renowned visit to the Temple at 12 years old! How much more could He have achieved if He had preached for 20 years instead of three?

The Apostle Paul was commissioned on the road to Damascus to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, but then disappeared from the radar for 14-17 years before his first missionary journey. Where was his urgency? If only he had started sooner; he might have slipped in eight missionary trips instead of just three!

As babies, it takes most of us about a year to learn how to walk. Then we spend decades gradually accelerating.

It saps the soul.

Alan Fadling writes: “Boredom is a modern phenomenon. It’s a way of describing how the empty spaces between our hurried experiences feel to us.” Souls in chaos not only do not rest, they cannot rest.

Walk, don’t run. It will require a ruthless examination of our lives. It will emerge only from a purging and a refocusing. It will mean “No” as much as “Yes” in our lives. Truth be told, our busyness flows more from insecurity than obedience.

A return to walking will require re-ordering and re-prioritizing. Only some people have the courage to go there.

But it’s where we meet Jesus.

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17 Responses to Walk, Don’t Run

  1. roger says:

    Touch down! Great word DT

  2. Dick and Doris says:

    Truly insight—full… Often people will say, “Let me get that done for you real quick”… Everything seems to need to happen “real Quick”. I sometimes counter with, “Why not just slow down and do it well? If you don’t have time to do a job right, how in the world are you going to have the time to do it again….???? The world needs to slow down. I cannot keep up with todays English… things come at me like little high-speed sound bites… sputter, sputter, sputter. I can’t understand 600 words per minute. Dick and thank you !

  3. Sam Sublett says:

    So simple yet so profound. Thank you Dr. Timms.
    All my years I RAN the race and fought the good fight; and yet He always had a presence in my hurried selfish ways. My years forward will be at His pace for I shall not turn lose of His hand.

  4. Linda Schuchmann says:

    Dear David,

    Thank you so much for this very thoughtful meditation on walking instead of running. I needed to hear this today!

    May God bless your walking with Him,
    Linda Schuchmann

    Sent from my iPad


  5. cloviskaram says:

    Thanks Deacon, beutifull. PAUL went to a retreat in Arabia. ..we know nothing about his where about in this period, do you have any clue? Still networking for a job any job. Regards Clovis

    Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

    • David Timms says:

      Clovis, I don’t know where Paul was precisely, but we know he was there quite a while … aligning his life with the timing of the Lord, no doubt. May the Lord open just the right employment door for you soon. Grace and peace.

  6. Barry Ryall says:

    Good word and reminder David as usual, we miss so much of God’s scenery and relationship depth when we run past people who are yearning for someone to notice and listen. We do not minister well if we don’t listen well. We do not listen well when we don’t listen well to God first. Blessings of grace and peace.

  7. markskrause says:

    Reminds me a little of Kosuke Koyama’s “Three Mile an Hour God.” Thanks, David

  8. Scot Longyear says:


    Thank you.

    On Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 5:35 PM, Because of Grace wrote:

    > David Timms posted: “As a kid, my mother sometimes told me “Walk, don’t > run”; especially if I was carrying scissors! It was good advice, not just > for those dangerous moments but for all of life. A few years ago, when Dr. > John Jackson stepped into the presidency at William ” >

  9. Marilyn Carver Luethke says:

    Very good advice from your mother. We are so happy to have your son Caleb join our family by marrying our sweet Lauren. I look forward to meeting you in August. yours in Christ, Marilyn Luethke –Lauren’s grandmother

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