Living at the Pace of Christ

What if living at the pace of Christ meant slowing down?  What if finding your true Godspeed meant living a life at odds with the cultural speed around you?  What if discovering a new rhythm in life, one more in line with that of Jesus, meant stepping out of the rushed and hurried pace so indicative of today’s world?  Would you be willing to take that first step?

Chasing 70 is the story of one family, the Scarboroughs; Bart, Victoria, Charlotte and David, who said yes, and then stepped into the unknown.  A mother, a father, a sister and brother, who, in a moment of desperation, made a decision that would ultimately save their family, restore sanity, and open a door to a world they had seemingly lost sight of somewhere along the way.  Life was driving them into a shadowy corner and just before they got there, light came in the form of a plan that required dramatic decisions and courageous measures.  Turning from the approaching corner to face an unexpected opening, in a matter of a few months, they sold nearly everything they possessed; house, cars, most of their belongings.  They found long-term dog sitters and stored some items they might need in the future, despite not knowing what the future held or where they would be when it arrived.  In an RV they affectionately named Burley, they set out across America.  Not so much in the name of adventure, but rather on a quest to do the one thing the world around them seemed hell-bent against: slow down.

In the process, the Scarboroughs learned lessons about space, place and pace that might otherwise have completely eluded them.  And they discovered, as did the author who chronicled their journey– both the internal and external–that a life lived at the pace of Christ also leads to the following discoveries:

  • Less really is more.
  • Taking the long way ‘round is far richer than choosing shortcuts.
  • Our inner Mary and Martha need each other and are meant to coexist.
  • Modern technology has stolen much of our relational intimacy, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
  • When faced with burn-out, we have options to live life another way and still get things done.
  • The pace of living is directly connected to knowing others and to being known, and to our need for “Koinonia”.
  • There is an art to waiting and a way to be productive even when we are not certain what tomorrow holds.
  • The ordinary life is full of extraordinary significance.
  • The ancient ways are just as important and relevant today as they were when Christ walked the Galilee.
  • Jesus moves slowly, at three miles an hour, and is calling us to a similar life cadence.

Most of us read books and listen to podcasts or sermons or even songs imploring us to make changes, but so few of us act.  It’s risky.  Scary.  Unknown.  Even dangerous.  It takes a lot of courage and faith to start to push against our mountains.  Chasing 70 is about a family who pushed and pushed, and when the mountain began to budge, what they uncovered was true treasure.  They chased seventy degrees for a year and a half around North America and, in the process, realized they were also on the heels of a spiritual parallel, a seventy-degrees of the soul. 

Theirs was a multi-faceted pilgrimage, but at the heart of it all was a deep longing to find and assume a pace of living much closer to the one they increasingly believed they were designed to imitate.  They were in search of a life lived at Godspeed, at the pace of Christ.

Chasing 70 is their story.  But it’s also mine.  In fact, the deeper I dug and the closer I looked, I too realized I’d been living at a cadence incompatible with the kind of rhythm my heart desires.  Indeed, the pace my soul longs to find. 

When the journey of this story began, I was living in the very place where Jesus first tapped out his own rhythm, in his hometown of Nazareth, where I’d moved my family to answer a calling. This reality made me stop and question the very foundations of my own story, a story that, in the end, is universal. It’s the Scarborough’s story.  It’s my story.  And, as you peer in alongside of me, I imagine bits and pieces and perhaps whole portions of your story are to be found here as well. 

You don’t have to sell it all and journey across America and back again in order to uncover the treasures that lay beneath.  To a certain degree Bart, Victoria, Charlotte, and David have done the lion’s share of that homework for us.  They went head-on into a great unknown because the known and the familiar were hitting them head-on and the collision was about to destroy them.  In doing so they discovered one of life’s ancient truths, largely hidden in today’s technology-driven, over-connected, get-it-yesterday, impossible-to-maintain-pace culture: in a world constantly telling us to speed up so we don’t miss anything, most of us are in fact doing just that.  

What the Scarborough’s discovered convinced them that the more slowly they moved, the more closely their lives settled into a pace modeled long ago by none other than Jesus himself.  As the weeks and months and miles eased past, they came to realize that the more committed they were to living life with greater intention, slowing down in pursuit of their spiritual seventy degrees, the more they saw and experienced and engaged with each other and the world around them.  When it was all over and they returned from a present-day Narnia, they knew they’d never be the same.  And the world they inhabited, the world their children would grow up in, had changed forever.

Come…chase 70 and discover a life lived at the pace of Christ.