We have a lot of hurry in our lives. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times “I’m too busy.” And to be honest, I get caught up in that trap too. I get busy. I get too busy. I get wrapped up in so much stuff that I don’t get a moment to breathe. And that’s why I decided to get rid of hurry and start to want to wait.
Sounds weird, I know. But I’ve had to. I think it was Eugene Peterson who said that a busy pastor is either lazy or full of themselves (not his words but mine). This applies to everyone really. When we’re busy we either let someone else dictate our schedule or we just get so wrapped up in the fact that we’re busy we think that we must be important or something like that. Busyness gets in the way of being. And being is where we need to be at. Not just me as a pastor, but me as a person, me as a child of God, as a follower of Jesus. I need to just be.
And so that’s why I decided to try not to hurry.
Know what? It’s hard not to hurry. So many people want to hurry. So many people rush to get from here to there that they don’t remember what the in between looked like. In the classic book The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, there is a town where people are so hurried they won’t even look up. And so because they became so hurried, the very buildings they walked by disappeared. They all were invisible. Why bother existing if someone won’t even look at you.
And when we’re so hurried, that’s what becomes of the world around us. That’s what becomes of God by us, Jesus near us. We’re so hurried that we don’t pay attention to his very presence around us (and if a follower of Jesus, His presence in us).
But it’s hard not to hurry.
This last weekend, I saw the hurry around me. We drove down to the Chicagoland area to visit my in-laws. Along the 80/294 interstate people hurried. In Illinois, the speed limit is 55 mph. No one goes that slow. I saw a car pass a person in the right hand lane by going along the shoulder–while on a bridge. People hurry. And if you want to survive driving on the 80/294 you need to hurry at the same speed otherwise you cause issues.
This is life. This is the way of the hurried ones. We hurry so much that we cause others to hurry as well. The path we hurry down becomes broad and big. It becomes so broad that we think we have more room to hurry down it. And in doing so, we don’t see the world around us.
Stop with the hurry.
Stop with the busy.
Know what, stop.
A month or so back, I got lost in Indiana. I was forced to slow down. I was forced to go with the road’s curves and turns rather than the straight path of the 80/94 interstate. I had to take the narrow road, hug the curves going the speed limit less I turn to hard and skid. I was forced to not hurry.
There is a difference between hurry and getting things done. Things do need to get done. But at what price, at what pace is the real issue. Is it worth getting things done at the cost of not spending time with your spouse? Is it worth getting things done at the cost of being present with your children growing up? Is it worth it all to be busy and hurried and lose time with God?
Hurry gets in the way. Waiting on the other hand helps. Waiting on God gives room between the things that need to get done. A breather here and there, a few minutes of respite and the rest of the day is easier to handle than if we begin with hurry.
Don’t hurry up. Wait.
Wait on the Lord and you will see the good things He has in store for you. Be willing to eliminate hurry and you’ll see more to life than you’d ever imagine.