4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you….”
The letter is quite profound…at the bottom of the page written in my dad’s handwriting (I snagged his Bible after bailed-out on earth) is “God, what can you do through me to make others more effective?”
Its a good question to ask as followers of Jesus. Even better is the answer here in the passage. Rejoicing in the Lord means staring at what He’s done, what He’s doing and dreaming of what is to come through Him. Taking what I am anxious about and putting that ball in someone else’s court brings a sigh of relief that all decisions, hopes, frustrations, etc. aren’t up to me to accomplish in task but rather tackle in obedience. Moving slowly and thoughtfully (prayerfully) can be an effective measure of obedience. In fact your level of eternal effectiveness in other people’s lives is directly related to your level of committed connectedness to Jesus (and he shall direct thy paths)
I remember some wise words during the first week of my first gig as a youth pastor at The Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church under Pastor John Teevan. He said, (para-phrased) “…move glacierly…most people make decisions on a whim, without thought or prayer. When a glacier moves it not only takes everything with it, but changes the entire make-up of the face of the earth. Move slow.”