The cashier ringing up my groceries kept trying not to glance at the pendant attached to my necklace. She wasn't succeeding at her efforts so I attempted to help.
"Why would someone have the word SLOW on a necklace?" I said out loud.
She eased. She smiled. She turned bold. "Yeah, I was thinking, Is that her state of mind?"
Ok, lady, you took that in a direction I wasn't expecting.
However, without missing a beat and with a slight chuckle, I responded. "Actually it's a reminder of how I desire to live my life."
"Really? Do the letters stand for something?"
I'm so glad you asked.
"Yes. They certainly do. They remind me that I desire to Serve God, Love God, Observe His commands, and Walk in all His ways."
She froze from swiping the groceries across the scanner. She looked me in the eye and replied, "Thank you. I needed to hear that." Then she resumed scanning.
I didn't respond. I prayed a silent prayer of thanksgiving.
Months earlier as I was writing the outline to a Bible Study I kept going back to a particular verse. I titled the study Woman Warriors: doing the right thing no matter what. The main theme of that study is to learn from some rather obscure ladies in Scripture how to deal with unexpected crises that seemingly come out of nowhere.
The verse I stumbled on okay, I need to correct myself here. We don't stumble on anything in God's Word. When we have an AH-HA moment, an eye-opening experience, or when a particular verse or passage resonates in our hearts and minds while reading or studying the Bible we must understand that we didn't find it. We didn't locate it. We didn't just teach ourselves anything.Rather, God just revealed His Word.
God reveals His Word to you. God revealed His Word to me and it drastically changed my perspective when a few weeks later I was diagnosed with cancer.
If you fall to pieces in a crisis there wasn't much to you in the first place.
Proverbs 24:10, The Message
You can read more about my story of what God showed me, taught me, and revealed to me before, during, and after my cancer crisis in my newly published book, CRISIS: Mine's Cancer, What's Yours? For more details go to the home page.
As I was writing the Woman Warrior study there was a recurring theme as I studied these women: they feared God.
This phrase, this action of fearing God puzzled me in the past. For a long time it didn't make sense to my simple mind. Fear God? Be afraid of God? Why would He want that? What did He mean by that?
One of the definitions of the verb fear is to have reverential awe. Knowing this definition makes fearing God easier to understand. Now that I knew what it meant to fear God, to be so in awe of who He is, what He does, how He loves I was ecstatic when Deuteronomy 10:12-13 was revealed to me. It wasn't enough to just know the meaning. Now I had application, as well!
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to Walk in obedience to Him, to Love Him, to Serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and to Observe< the Lord's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
Two facts: I love acronyms. Memorizing Scripture is a challenge.
The result of those two facts?
This acronym quickly became my mantra; a repeated truism.
Observe His commands
Walk in all His ways
As I read and studied about those woman warriors I learned how they feared God, how they Served Him, Loved Him, Observed His commands, and Walked in His ways.
These women chose to live SLOW, they feared God, and when a crisis exploded in their life they weren't puzzled about how those pieces would land in their life. They were women who chose to fear God. Therefore, they refused to fall to pieces in their crisis.
That particular study was 10 weeks long. On week 9 I was diagnosed with cancer. And God's Word did what it so effectively does when we read and study it: His Word spoke to me. God's voice was clear.
His challenge was before me:
Ellen, you've spent weeks learning about what it means to fear me. You've taught others how to not fall to pieces in a crisis. Now will you do as I've taught?
S.L.O.W. Livin was birthed.
I look forward to writing and sharing more about this recurring theme in my life. Check back here often as I share more about my S.L.O.W. Livin life.