Radically Eliminate Hurry from Your Life
On September 11, 2001, while the nation watched tragedy unfold on television, my 96-year-old grandfather quietly slipped into eternity with Jesus. While growing up, I had heard the stories of his childhood in the early 1900s — without cars, electricity or telephones.
A hundred years ago, the pace of life in America was about 5 mph — the speed at which a good horse could walk in an hour.
Everything about our lives now, however, is at an accelerated pace: so much to do, so little time. In fact, “Hurry Sickness” was identified some 40 years ago by a cardiologist who recognized that nearly all of his heart-disease patients had a lifestyle of hurry.
In addition to ruining our health, hurry sickness can cause us to miss those special moments that make up the real joys of life. One of my elderly patients once was asked, “If you could have anything you want this Christmas, what would you wish for?”
Her answer sobered me: “to hear the little pitter-patter of feet running down my hallway, to be able to change a diaper, to rock a baby to sleep.”
Up to that point, those were the very things I was rushing through. Now, I often remind my family when we are together at meals: “These are the best days of our lives.”
Hurry also makes it harder to hear God and makes our hearts less tender and compassionate toward others.
Jesus was never in a hurry. He is the one we should look to, to model the pace and rhythm for our lives — not the culture around us. He asks: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me...I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”
In our hurried world, how do we look to Jesus as our model instead of to our culture?
1. Slow down.
We can start by setting goals that add some margin to our lives. Part of the reason we are in a hurry is that if it’s going to take us 20 minutes to get somewhere, we allocate exactly 20 minutes. That leaves no margin for obstacles. What not allocate 35 minutes? Then we wouldn’t be frustrated by delays.
2. Keep the Sabbath.
God designed the Sabbath as a time to rest and refuel, a time to charge our batteries spiritually, physically and emotionally.
3. Practice regular times of solitude.
Jesus often withdrew to a lonely place to be by Himself, especially after being around people. Solitude is when we turn off activity to experience a time of quietness with God.
4. Get enough sleep.
One of the main areas where we try to “borrow” time is our sleep. But God didn’t design us to be on the go 24/7. He says, “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be [refreshing].”
We don’t have to live in the 1900s to enjoy a restful and healthy pace of life. We can start today!