What is the Pace of Perfect?
Today I will work at God’s pace. What is the pace of perfect?
I distinguish this from “perfect pace.” Perfect pace implies that there is one pace we all seek to achieve. But the pace of perfect seems to me to be individual – in my day, my circumstance, my capability, my moment.
It may seem odd to you but I am thinking this in the middle of executing a push up. Not the “modified” kind, but the real thing, the one performed balanced on toes and palms of hands. I can not do too many of these, but I am thinking about executing it at “perfect pace.”
In the fitness business we spend a lot of time advising clients about form – partially because they cannot see themselves and we can, and partially because people have in their minds to “just do” the exercise rather than experience the motion. They want to “do 10 push ups” rather than lift themselves 10 times while they are in perfect position. They have an outcome in mind. We want them to be about the process. They want perfect pace. We are looking for the pace of perfect.
I am especially tuned into this, perhaps, because I am grateful to be able to do this kind of push up. Recently I had a serious hamstring injury. During that time I couldn’t do any push ups. But during the time of my recovery was probably the closest I’ve come to the pace of perfect in a long time, perhaps all of my time.
So, what is the pace of perfect? and how will I know it when I…feel it?
Sometimes I believe it is fast. I think God wants us to be quick about it. Do it right away, without any hesitation. I remember first discovering this idea when I was reading the “Clan of the Cave Bear” series. Ayla, the heroine, sensed (heard, smelled, felt, intuited – I don’t know how) there was danger coming toward their encampment and she woke the sleeping members, collected what she could and they beat it, as fast as they could. They narrowly escaped the raging fire that would have ended them. Sometimes, I believe God intends for us to move fast.
Sometimes I believe slow is perfect. I found this during my injury. Everything I did was painstaking. It required extra effort, planning and fortitude. Making, eating and cleaning up from breakfast took me an hour. I did not begrudge the time. In fact, I was grateful to execute breakfast-making all by myself. That hour was perfect. Sometimes, I believe God intends for us to move later but for now only to move slowly. Perhaps there is something He is doing in us, growing in us. Or maybe He is preparing something for us elsewhere that needs a bit of aging. He needs us to wait. I rarely wait in stillness (as I have admitted), but don’t be concerned for me because whatever the pace, when the pace is by God’s design, it is perfect.
And that is the key for me. Fast or slow is not the issue. It’s the checking. The checking to see that I am traveling at God’s pace, whatever that is. That I have not run ahead, nor am I falling behind.
With this in mind, the distraction that interrupts my day may (or may not) be God’s pace. I must check. The deadline that requires I drop everything and focus only on this may (or may not) be God’s pace. I must check.
What if I dedicated myself to this at the beginning of every day…and recommitted throughout the day? Today, I will work at God’s pace. Work, He intends for me to do. I have a role here; my presence confirms it. His pace is perfect. I will not pretend I know the pace for others. But I must attend to the rhythm He sets, some parts allegro, some lento, some moderato.
What I seek, O Lord, is a legato day, played smoothly according to your perfection.