While perusing the more esoteric corners of Scripture, I recently came across a phrase I found intriguing, sparking my curiosity. It was in 2 John 1:11. I’m reading out of the King James Version, so admittedly, the language is a touch archaic, but it ran like this.
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
‘Godspeed’. What is that? Breaking down the word into it’s obvious components, the clear intent would seem to be a blessing or benediction. That is true. In the past, when one spoke ‘godspeed’ over you, they were expressing their intentions for goodness, hope or success, particularly if you were about to embark on some kind of difficult task, perilous journey or singular mission. They were basically lauding your choices, saying “may God cause you to succeed”; prospering your safety and triumph. As "life and death are in the power of the tongue", (Proverbs 18:21), this is sound theology.
Sound Medieval? We don’t really talk to each other that way anymore. ‘Godspeed’ is an old-fashioned term, not simply because of its age, but because of the sentiment behind it. In a planet of approximately 7.2 billion people, a very small percentage are still looking for the partnership of God in anything they do. They have their eye on other agents. Looking to advantages of birth or class, education, networking, or the power of the Internet, a modern generation are finding a fair amount of attainment. Try to speak the blessing of God over someone’s plans, or ask if you could pray for them and chances are, you’ll get the side-eye. We’ve reached the age where we think we’re the gods of our own success story. Just so long as that dusty old God stays out of the way, we can manage it, thank-you very much.
It’s true this era is a blur of motion; innovation in full velocity, but let’s not get bewitched. There’s speed, and then, there’s Godspeed. He’s still the Lord over time, and the fruits of it – we are not. Every now and again, we require a wake-up call. There’s barbarian bedlam swarming around us, so occasionally we need to stand still and give our attention to the Ancient of Days.
Recently a friend and I revisited one of our favorite places. Not far from home is Battle lake, a mini boreal ecosystem; an ancient watershed. This site never fails to utterly captivate me. A fern forest so singularly beautiful it defies description lies tucked serenely in a grove of old growth…magical and mysterious. To see those prehistoric ostrich ferns unfurling in their primitive dance with the sun dappling through the tall trees and the birds trilling purely is to literally breathe in life. You can feel your heart-beat recalibrate to its created cadence while the moist quiet of the forest saturates your psyche. Follow the soft path winding through the trees and you will come out at the exposed strata of ancient bedrock on which the entire province rests. Estimated at 65 million years old, it’s wise to stand quietly in the cool, shadowy glade and drink in the significance. There’s a reverential quality to the moment as you realize how incredibly small you are in the sweeping saga of history. Just for a second you can imagine what it must feel like to be God.
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8 KJV
“A thousand years as one day”. This scripture stops us in our tracks as we can’t even begin to fathom the weight of sovereignty described here. The closest comprehension we have of it is in our swipe at wormholes, something we learned from watching Star Trek. God can accomplish the natural (or supernatural) changes of a thousand years in twenty-four hours. You think that’s mind-boggling? Consider the prophecy of Revelation 18:10, 17,19 where we’re told that this entire world order (Babylon) will be dismantled in one hour. Apparently, all it’s going to take is God crooking His baby finger and it’s all over. From the Lord’s perspective, the question of time, pace and accomplishment look quite different.
It’s easy to be seduced into the lie that the busier you are, the more you cram into one day, the more important and productive you are. Decades slip away under the pressure of unrelenting scheduals, but it’s not just about getting through your bucket list. The goal is to find and live life in all its abundance. As finite creatures time is our most powerful enemy unless we learn to master it with divine help. Without proper perspective, time is a tyrant that grinds us up in its remorseless millstone. Getting into ‘Godspeed’ and staying in it, maximizing the partnership between the Lord and ourselves, is the discipline of a lifetime. The rhythm of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives keeps us off the hamster wheel of futility, with all the fatigue and frustration that goes with it.
The ‘Godspeed’ cadence of your life is waiting for you, but it’s not in the wind, the earthquake or the fire, but in the still, small voice (1 Kings 19:11-14). Venturing into nature with all its serene tranquility helps us find the heartbeat of eternity again. We feel the majesty and dominion of our enormous inheritance. Maybe it’s time to release the reckless, relentless drumming of your own demanding expectation and allow the Almighty to do a hard edit. In this joint venture of yours, He’s the senior partner. It’s not about going faster. It’s about Godspeed.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11