How many times have we heard or actually used the expression ASAP? We might have said it to our children, to our spouse or it might have been directed toward us at work verbally or in a memo. In our “hurry up” world, ASAP means “as soon as possible”. Our lives are filled with ASAP moments as we flit from one activity to another or one responsibility to another taking little time to reflect on whether we have actually accomplished the task to the best of our ability.
What if we were able to change the meaning of ASAP to provide us with more time instead of less? What if ASAP became a mantra that we looked forward to daily and what if it empowered us to change our lives? A church in a small, farming town in North Carolina has proclaimed to all passerbys a new meaning for ASAP- Always Stop and Pray! As we passed this church on our travels down the road, I did a double take to see if I had read it correctly. Could it be that our “hurry up” days could be replaced by the grace of God by turning to Him in prayer? Could we pause the fast forward button in our lives by focusing on God rather than the tasks that need to be completed each day? Could our lives become a video with a connected story line that flowed smoothly as our lives unfolded before us?
As I ponder these questions, the image of the church sign shines brightly in my mind as a reminder of where our focus should lie each day. In the few days since I passed the sign, ASAP- Always Stop and Pray has made an impact on me and has changed my “hurry up” world ever so slightly. The anxious moments of feeling overwhelmed by busyness have been replaced by a calm because of pausing the fast forward button to turn to God in prayer.
I challenge each of you to change your ASAP moments into God-breathed ASAP moments. Embrace the difference it will make in your life!
Here are some verses to reflect on to center your focus today:
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:11, 12 NIV)
Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8 NIV)
Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (Psalm 66:16-20 NIV)
What verses do you read when trying to stay focused on God in your daily life?