By Bob Fryling

The Gazelle and the Lion

In The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman recounts an African parable of the gazelle and the lion. The gazelle wakes up each morning with the realization that it has to keep running in order to keep from being eaten. The lion wakes up each morning with the realization that it has to keep running in order to keep from starving.

It’s an appropriate parable for our time. It doesn’t make any difference who we are, we feel we have to keep running in order to keep up with our culture, our technology and our relationships. The expansion of all of that stimulation is exhausting. But it’s also addicting.

The Apostle Paul writes about running the race. But the primary metaphor of our relationship with God is not of running but of resting. I think the challenge for us in InterVarsity is how do we run and rest at the same time? Or do it in a rhythm that is appropriate, that does not exhaust ourselves and others, and in a way that helps us experience God’s presence.

How do we experience God in the present moment? Holding my granddaughter this past weekend I observed the innocence of a child, living in the present, experiencing the immediate and responding with joy. There was a sense of, “I’m being cared for because I recognize who’s with me.”

May there be that greater sense that God is with us, every day. May we all be more aware that God is with us, and be willing to declare to those around us, “Immanuel, God is with us.”

Taken from Bob’s NSC chapel talk in 2007. Also check out Bob’s article Spiritual Leadership in a Frenzied World.

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