Postage £0.00


On the authority of a wise Israeli, overdrive can kill. He made this contention publicly 3,500 years ago. His name was Jacob. After a memorable reunion with his brother Esau, wise Jacob declined an invitation to accompany Esau on their return journey. He used the tender age of his children, and the young among his flocks and herds, as the reason. If he were to overdrive for one day, all the flocks would die, was Jacob's shrewd observation (Gen. 33:13). This is the only time the word overdrive appears in Scripture. It is derived from the Hebrew daw-fak, which means to press severely. An automotive technical adviser describes overdrive in these words: "An extra gear in or attached to, the transmission that can he engaged at higher vehicle speeds..."

Higher speed! Are we not travelling fast enough already in vehicles, in emotions, in thought, in attempted accomplishments, in life generally? Does not our present way of life manifest increased stress to our minds, bodies, nervous systems, resulting in abnormal physical symptoms? Are we paying a high price spiritually and physically because our lives are in such high gear? Incidentally, there is nothing new in Christians being in "high gear". We can recall how the Lord had to encourage His disciples to

come apart into a quiet place because "they had no leisure so much as to eat" (Mark 6:31). Stress, tension were evidently manifesting themselves.

Overdrive can kill! Jacob confirms this. "All the flocks will die", he said. This expected outcome did not exclude his concern for his children. His wisdom is worthy of imitation. Are we in danger today of jeopardizing our personal and family lives by maintaining a hectic pace that is abnormal? If so, what is the Christian's altern~tive? The adoption, we suggest, of the divine principles set out in Psalm 23. A simplistic solution is not being advocated because we acknowledge the reality of what prevails in the world. But we have an all-loving Father who is gracious and kind, and who has only the best intentions for His family.

Knowing the psalm and knowing the Shepherd are so important for us today because of the demands made on our time, our nervous system, and our health generally. Is not the control in our hands to change from overdrive to normal before an accident happens to our spiritual lives? David, who knew about life's stresses - read again of his cries of desperafion in the cave, as an example (Ps. 142) - is the one who invites us into the peacefulness of the pastoral experience of his shepherd psalm. We need to come back to it to

absorb its tranquillity of green pastures and still waters. The actual lying down and the experience of true rest, need to be enjoyed by us spiritually. If not, we may have to experience the meaning of the words "He mnketh me". David, like ourselves, may have resisted at times the green pastures, and their value as a quiet resting place; and the still waters of reflection, which are so necessary for the renewing of our minds and devotions. Yet, it is by these means that our souls can be restored, our minds refreshed, our hearts strengthened, and our emotions stabilized.

David starts our journey of meditafion by establishing our relations with the Lord as the Shepherd who knows what is best for us. He satisfies all our wants, provides the quiet places of relaxation and contentment. What blessings these are as they restore our souls. As our Guide and Companion He leads quiefly along paths of right-

eousness, through all the fearful, challenging experiences life holds, assuring us on the way of His neamess and help. Our communion with Him is real and comforting, and He feeds us on the way with the strengthening sustenance of His assuring words and promises. These help us to overcome whatever opposition may arise as a threat to us. To overcome weariness He refreshes us with Holy Spirit power through the cool refreshment of His Word. He reinforces our resolve as His disciples, with His mercy and goodness every day, enabling us to live, serve, worship, and rejoice in God's spiritual house. What a wonderful provision this is for us to enjoy in quietude and peace. Here is a blessing the world cannot match. No overdrive, only love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Gal. 5:22,23 NIV).

Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying ~ph. 4:29).