Sep 16, 2016 by Will Maule

"You Must Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry From Your Life."

Hurry is a dominant addiction in today's society. Along with busyness and a desperate need for productivity, hurry is one of the most prevalent afflictions Christians face today. And it is a killer. "Look at the life of Jesus. Do you find it strange that he never rushed? He didn’t cater to the world’s demands. Even though he had an enormous mission to complete in a short period of time, he was never overwhelmed or anxious," writes Frank Powell at Church Leaders. 

Bible scholar, pastor and theologian Dallas Willard famously warned against this unhealthy habit, saying "You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life." He was right, and Powell gives us 5 key reasons why he was so spot on with his assessment. 

1. A hurried life prevents us from knowing God.  
"Last night, I read a book to my boys called Where Is God? The words hit me hard, so much so that I read them again after the boys went to sleep. Listen to this. 'Where is God…God is in the beginning…in the tiny hands of a baby…Where is God?…God is in the end…in the last bite of birthday cake…Where is God? God is in the world…God is everywhere…wherever we look.' A hurried world has no time for looking, no space to notice God. Life is about the next thing, the next event, the next item on our to-do list. As long as we move at this speed, we shouldn’t wonder why our relationship with God suffers. God is wherever we look, but are we looking for Him?"

2. A hurried life decreases compassion and empathy.
"Compassion and empathy are similar, but different. Compassion sees the suffering or pain of another person and has a desire to help. Empathy sees the emotions of another person and feels the same thing. Compassion and empathy disappear in hurried cultures. Rather than helping our neighbor or listening to our hurting friend or co-worker, we resort to 'pick up your boot straps' and 'get over it' attitudes, the very opposite of Jesus. Jesus always made space for compassion, regardless of the demands around him. He welcomed children, fed thousands of hungry people, and was continually side-tracked to heal the sick and talk with outcasts. How frustrating would Jesus have been for an event planner? What do you feel when you see someone hurting? What’s your response to someone with a different perspective? What about the outcasts and marginalized? Are you more inclined to stop and listen or judge them for not trying hard enough, making bad choices, etc.?"

3. A hurried life increases anxiety, depression, and addiction. 
"Through my American lens, it seems like Jesus wasted most of his life. He was baptized at the age of 30, and immediately after went into the wilderness for 40 days? Jesus could have performed miracles long before 30, and his following might have been larger. Who knows, more people might know Jesus today if he started his ministry earlier. That’s a no-brainer, God. Maybe you need an expert on time management to help you steward the life of Jesus? What’s that, God?… Yeah, you made the stars… Yeah, you were here long before me… You’re right, having someone you created consult you sounds silly. The 30 years Jesus spent in obscurity weren’t wasted years. God was developing important virtues in Jesus…patience and self-control."

4. A hurried life destroys meaningful relationships. 
"Much of what makes life meaningful, friendships, family and community, need the very thing hurried people don’t have: time. Busyness strangles meaningful, life-giving friendships. Hurried people simply don’t have the space to maintain friendships or invest in building new ones. I’ve seen this in my life. Between work, kids and family, I’ll go weeks, months even, without calling my best friends…and not even realize it. Marriage is also greatly affected by hurriedness. 'Love is patient,' the first component listed in 1 Corinthians 13. Love isn’t rushed. It doesn’t come to fruition over night. Great marriages, the ones I see looking at my grandparents, the ones filled with peace and joy and hope, they take years. But, let’s be honest, we don’t have years. And I wonder how many divorces and broken homes are the product of impatience?"

5. A hurried life leads to a superficial, meaningless existence. 
"When things happen too fast, nobody can be certain about anything, about anything at all, not even about himself. 'Purpose' is a trendy word in today’s culture, and rightfully so, we were created for something larger than ourselves. But in a hurried world, a purposeful life is more elusive than the Loch Ness Monster. Here’s why. Your purpose is unique to you. It’s an outpouring of your passion and gifts. Uncovering these requires introspection, looking inside yourself. It requires stillness and time with God. Busy people have no time for introspection and stillness, and the result is a world of copy-cats and posers. A hurried world would rather imitate someone than become the unique men and women God created us to be."

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