The Expensive Lesson My Sister Taught Me

The Expensive Lesson My Sister Taught Me

A while back my sister taught me one of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned about life. It came at her expense and I don’t think she even realized I was learning, but it was powerful.

Charis was driving through a torrential downpour. The street began to flood and she found herself surrounded by really deep water. In a moment of panic she floored it. This shot water up into her little Nissan Sentra and destroyed her electrical system. Her car stalled. She was then completely stuck in that high water.

She got out fine and her car was taken into the shop for a total overhaul. My dad quizzed her about the incident, “Why did you floor it?” Her response was interesting.

“I knew I was in trouble, so I figured the faster I went the quicker I’d be out of it.”

Hmm. Makes decent sense. But the fact is, when you hit high water you always take it slow.

I think most of us take on life the way my sister took on that water. We find ourselves in a deep struggle – marital conflict, grief, divorce, a difficult season – and we don’t like how it feels. So we do whatever we can to move things along. We take on more work. We jump into another relationship. We add more complexity. But eventually we stall out in the high water.

One of the most courageous things you can do when you are facing a trial is to slow down. Stop and look around. It may be uncomfortable to face the realities of your situation. But if you are in constant overdrive you’ll have a hard time hearing God’s still small voice over the rumble of your activity. He will give you direction. You just need to slow down and listen.

Be courageous enough to slow down. Embrace the pain of the challenge. Listen to God’s still, small voice.

If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you. – Leo Tolstoy