Finding My Pace


by J.D. Wininger


One of my most treasured items is something I used many times in the military. It’s not my weapon, nor my lensatic compass (although I still have it). The treasured item I keep close is my pace counter. It has sustained me through many journeys in this life.


Made while in the US Army, my pace counter has logged thousands of miles in its lifetime. To understand its importance, it might help to understand how it works. Today, many use a Global Positioning System (GPS) to tell them how to reach their destination. Decades ago, when we had to watch out for errant dinosaurs, we used a map, compass, and pace counter. By knowing the distance between each step, which is terrain-dependent, a pace counter can tell you how far you’ve traveled. One side of the pace counter allows you to count how many steps you’ve taken, and the other side counts how many meters you’ve traveled.


During land navigation, you might walk atop of a ridge one minute, then have to take shorter steps as you traverse the side of a mountain another. My trusty pace counter always helped me find my way. Day or night, my pace counter was a reliable source of information I could trust. Even when dead tired in the middle of the night and not thinking clearly, working my pace counter made me feel secure, knowing how far I had gone.


At my age, it’s safe to assume I’m not traipsing around the woods, jungles, or through mountainous terrain any longer, especially in the middle of the night. So why does that silly little piece of string with thirteen beads still mean so much? I keep it to remind me of how important knowing my spiritual pace is and how far I’ve come in my walk with God. My old friend reminds me of God’s promise to sustain me throughout my life’s journey in faith.


Like my walking pace, my spiritual pace also depends on the terrain I’m traveling. When marching along in life with everything going according to plan (i.e., in God’s will), I know my normal pace. When trials come, or temptations scream for my attention, I know it’s time to slow my pace. It’s time to use caution, being purposeful with every step in faith I take.


I slow my pace by spending more time studying God’s word as I seek what I might need for the journey ahead. I listen more in prayer, opting for silence rather than rambling off my ideas and suggestions. Another purposeful act is seeking fellowship with other believers. I’ve learned how important fellowship with other Christians is, as God often sends others to help us in our walks. Four of my favorite promises of how God sustains me in my journey in faith are:

  • Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9 NKJV*).
     
  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah (Psalm 46:1-3).
     
  • Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
     
  • For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).


When the world begins surrounding me and my spiritual footing becomes unsure, I need to pay attention to my pace. That’s when I pull out my pace counter and remember God’s many promises to be with me. It is in Christ that I can find the courage to take the next step, confident of where He is leading.


God’s blessings,

J.D. Wininger


When you’re going through a trial or a spiritual battle, how do you slow your “pace” in order to compensate for the difficulties? Share some tips and encouragement in the comments below.


*All Scripture verses are taken from the NKJV.


J.D. Wininger is an award-winning writer and speaker who teaches compelling lessons in faith and writes heartfelt devotionals and books to glorify God. He has written for national magazines, CBN.com, and Lighthouse Bible Studies, and has contributed to several books. When not working his Texas ranch, he and his wife Diane share God’s love in surrounding communities.


Connect with J.D. at his website: https://jdwininger.com/.

 

Thanks for joining us today for this post in our series, Sustaining Life’s Victories. If you would like to receive similar posts by email, please be sure to subscribe to this blog!

Spiritual Growth, Bible study, prayer, victory, Finding My Pace, J.D. Wininger, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (8)

  • anon

    When I sense that danger lurks ahead, be than walking in a forest somewhere or in my Christian walk, I naturally slow down physically. If the terrain has become rock or unstable, I'll reduce my pace by half or more. If my soul senses a change in balance, I slow my spirtual pace by spending more time in prayer before taking the next step. Other things I do is to double-check where I am and where my objective lies. Interestingly enough, and contrary, the shortest distance does not always equate to the shortest time needed.

    Sep 24, 2019
  • anon

    J. D. I didn't know about a pace counter before. But I certainly need one in life. Thank you for showing us how to keep pace with the Lord.
     

    Sep 24, 2019
  • anon

    We sure do need a way to keep pace in our busy lives don't we Ms. Debbie. Sometimes, it seems we get so busy we can lose track of ourselves. Am sure glad the Holy Spirit helps us as needed.

    Sep 24, 2019
  • anon

    What a treat that tangible reminder of God's provision and guidance must be for you, J.D.! I especially love Joshua 1:9, J.D., and it's been a favorite for a lolng time. I certainly don't have the answers to how to handle trials when they come my way, but, I do know that it helps me to share my concerns and worries wtih God on my front porch swing. Beyond just my prayer time - which is most often during a prayer walk - talking to God in my front porch swing gives me time to just "be stilll," - well, I'm still swinging - but I take extra time to just listen for God's voice in my thoughts, to point me in the right direction during that situation. 

    Sep 24, 2019
  • anon

    It's in our stillness with God that He speaks the loudest it seems Ms. Julie. Am so glad you enjoyed the post ma'am. I hope you're attending this year's Enrich conference. Would like to meet you ma'am; and you can share in the surprise I have for Ms. Katy. :-)

    Sep 24, 2019
  • anon

    J.D., I enjoyed reading about your pacer, as well as suggestions for setting our pace with God. Listening to scriptural music often leads me to worship God which realigns my focus. As we approach the Christmas season with numerous demands on our time, your post is a good reminder. 

    Sep 24, 2019
  • anon

    I sometimes forget to bring my spiritual pace counter with me. When it comes to day-to-day life I sometimes say, "Oh I know the way. I know how to get where I'm going." But it often turns out that I have no idea where I'm going or how to get there. This was a wonderful reminder and a great post. Thank you.

    Sep 24, 2019
  • anon

    J.D. Using your pace counter served as a powerful illustration on how to be mindful of our spiritual walk. I know I go through the day and pay more attention to my daily activities than on my spiritualily. Thanks for sharing your strategies on keeping on track in our faith walk. 

    Sep 24, 2019

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