You know what I mean. The kind of people who say, “ready, fire, aim!” They drive to the basket, never dishing the ball, full body contact people, who take the hill, while others ponder it. They are impulsive, or repulsive depending on your mood, with a whole lot of unpredictable thrown in for good measure.
Truth known? I’d give almost anything for an army of them standing ready in the Great Commission, focused on pleasing God through acts of faith. No-pause people, obeying from the heart.
David asked God to “hasten to him,” a prayer often on the lips of the king. He had enemies, and lots of them. When you get a reputation for being a giant killer that comes in the box, no assembly required. Have you read Psalm 141 recently? Here we find a raw and rugged cadence of imprecation and entreaty, two kinds of prayer often found on the lips of people who embody impulse. That’s because their faith, audacious love really, gets them into places without exits, has them climb hills far too steep, with guns pointed down at them. No pause means love has settled the question of safety. It won’t be safe, or manageable, or without exhaustion. But the residue…oh my! The residue of living like that is joy! Joy is what’s left over as a lingering gift, whenever we honor covenant relationship. What’s that?
Joy is what’s left over as a lingering gift, whenever we honor covenant relationship. David’s prayer of Psalm 141 is just that, an inside peek into a man forever doing the brave, shunning the cowardice side, getting intimate with God through courage.
Can I tell you about a recent moment where God pushed the no-pause button? Matsheva is from India, the northern part—graveyard of missions. When a student named Bobby and I sat down by him, he was minding his lonesome eating from a curry rice bowl. I told Bobby I didn’t have a delicate plan to break the ice. He winced when I turned and faced Matsheva. “You a student here,” I asked? Smiling weakly… When it came out of my mouth, it sounded even lamer than when I rehearsed it in my head a second before. Who else would be sitting in a student union!? No bother, we had his attention. Moments later he astounded us by asking, “I have heard bits and pieces of the Christian faith. Would you tell me the whole story?” I’m not kidding, he wanted it all, from the garden to the new city, in one sitting! We obliged. No pause, no chance for whispers to rattle our courage, no time for the mind to convince otherwise.
I’ve known a few no-pause people. How about you? Or maybe you are one! I pray every day, that I meet more on the way to coaching and mentoring this generation. They’ve grown up ‘in the trees,’ and sprouted independent far too soon for today’s standards. They became men and women, while others their age were still boys and girls. They look at life from a place of faith, see it all, the warts and possibilities all at once, make lightening fast judgment, and then they spring like a cougar from that tree toward opportunity. We need them, need their faith, audacious love, wrapped up in a settled sense of security that no misstep, failure or setback can bully.
The next time you face the prospects of a steep hill, with guns blazing, take no pause. Test Him! It’s the place where joy becomes concrete, a taste of what all God’s children will enjoy on the other side of fear.
Jesus said, “You will be like sheep running through a wolf pack.” ( Matt. 10:16 msg ). What kind of Shepherd lets sheep get that close to harm’s way? Only One I know. And He created us sheep to hear His voice, and obey on His impulse.
He created us with ‘no-pause’ buttons.