Hi everyone, Rob here. Have you ever noticed how satisfied you are after a really good conversation with someone? Those times when you feel really listened to, stimulated and get raised up to a higher level somehow, are absolutely golden aren’t they? I seemed to have a lot of those conversations in my university days, pre-children days and when I was at Bible College, but they don’t seem to come around so often now. They always have to be cut short because of a lack of time. Work, children and deadlines interrupt our conversations with relentless regularity. We then get so used to this that we’re constantly edgy and restless even when time is on our side. This is not good for the heart!
The late Dallas Willard (author of The Divine Conspiracy and other great books) was once asked by a young man how he could best teach people about Jesus, and he replied, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” Really? Didn’t this guy know how long it takes to get a kid out the door in the morning? Didn’t he know that it’s just a really busy time right now? Didn’t he know that there are deadlines that must be met?
Yes he did. He also knew that Jesus came to earth with the most urgent mission of rescuing people from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light and he only had 3 years at the most…and he never hurried a day in his life. He let Lazarus die and lay in the tomb for 4 days before he turned up. He walked everywhere. He held conversations with people and let them finish talking. He had time for the little children, for his friends parties, for lepers and blind men and prostitutes who had had enough. Jesus maintained urgency but eliminated hurry from his life and so he was able to give life to many.
Hurry leads to confusion, poor decisions and a flustered inner life. Hurry is self-reliance and a misguided sense of self-importance. Hurry is a habit that stops us from conversations with God and with our neighbour that give us life. Hurry kills the heart. So, in the words of a preacher I once heard, we must Wake Up and Slow Down. This does not mean laziness or neglecting our work or duties. It does mean living in the rhythm of Jesus who has made his home in our hearts. It means giving each day, each moment to him and it means walking with him in his mission, not running off with our own agenda.
I’m facing a deadline for an essay that is looming large in my mind and threatening to derail the peace in my heart. So today I took a walk. I slowed down. I breathed in God’s Spirit and breathed out my desire to hurry. I looked at trees and streams and clouds. I prayed and listened. I let myself dream a bit and invited God into those dreams. I became myself again as I let myself be a friend of Jesus. I felt more holy somehow and definitely more alive. It was a long, languid conversation with my best friend and loving Lord that I really needed to have. Thank you Jesus for waking me up, slowing me down and restoring my heart.
And so I ask you; what do you need to do to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life today? It’s an urgent, serious question that I believe you need to answer, but take your time. There’s no hurry!