Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How Hurry Can Wreck Your Life

I move quickly.

If I am not careful, I live my waking hours at a frantic pace. I’m not sure when I started living like this, I just know that I tend to do everything in fast forward. I get out of my car quickly when I park, I walk quickly, I eat quickly, and if I can multi-task another activity during those things, I do it. I know it’s not good when I live life this way. It’s like I’m fighting against the day rather than just living in it. If you could watch a video of my day, you would swear that the most important thing in my life is efficiency, and while I really do prize being efficient, I don’t want to look back on my life and marvel at the number of things I could accomplish in a day. I would rather take time to enjoy carefully chosen things in my life.

Maybe you spend your life in a hurry too. Dallas Willard once said, “Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” When I hurry, I am secretly saying to myself that what I have now is not enough. I need to achieve more. I have to see more. I’ve got to get one more thing done before bed, and I can get one more thing on the list crossed off if I just wake up 20 minutes earlier in the morning. We spend our lives conquering the world only to realize that we have not enjoyed or even noticed a single second of it.

Hurry is the state of being in which we want to accomplish more and have more than we currently do. It’s what happens when we feel the need to be more than we currently are. Hurry feeds off of discontent, and discontent makes life unbearable. Of course we all want to grow and move forward in our lives, there's nothing wrong with that, but the only way to grow is to stop slamming myself for where I am right now.  If we are able to slow down enough to be fully present in our current moment, we will be able to see the value in the people and activities around us. Hurry erodes when we embrace our present moments for all they are worth, rather than rushing through them to whatever might be next. When we are able to slow down, we can see that God has given us our present moments as a gift to be enjoyed and embraced, even when they are difficult or unexpected. 

I hope you find time to slow down today, and that in those moments, you will feel God's great love for you.

Photo courtesy of Death To Stock Photo
Dallas Willard's quote is from John Ortberg's newest: Soul Keeping 

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