Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry

Hurry up?
One of the biggest modern problems in our culture is busyness. It has become a norm everywhere we go. At work we are busy. In Church we are busy. At home, we too live like busy people. The fact is that we have become so accustomed to our busyness that we have taken it to be something we can do nothing about. I believe that one reason why we are perpetually busy people is because our hearts are not at peace. Our hearts are restless. Our hearts are constantly looking for things in this world to satisfy our wants. Truth is, our hearts are God-shaped hearts, and until we let God fill us, we will always be restless. We will always be unsatisfied. Our busyness will never fill us. Our hearts have been tainted by sin such that it is like a broken cistern. No amount of busy pouring of water (or search for satisfaction) will be able to keep it filled. After a while, all the water will leak out, leaving our vessels empty. Unfulfilled. Dissatisfied. Lacking.

John Ortberg, in his early years as a pastor at Willow Creek Community Church shares about his learning from his spiritual mentor. He asks about how to be spiritually healthy in the light of pastoral work and busyness. Back comes the reply: "You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life."

Like a typical high achiever, Ortberg, like an obedient student puts this as point #1 and asks "Now, what else is there?"

The reply is classic. "There is nothing else. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life."

That's right. One trait of restlessness is how easy we are distracting ourselves from the main thing. We have compartmentalized life in such a way that anything we have received, we imagine to be only a partial delivery. Isn't this the way we treat God's grace? Are we not guilty of trying to add to what God has already done? Instead of appreciating and enjoying what God has given us, we are so apt to ask the second question, "What's next?" or "What else?" or "Is there more?"

This is the key to good rest. Learn to pay attention to first things first. Learn to be busy when absolutely necessary. Learn to trust God for each step of the way, leaving the subsequent steps to God to initiate.

Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives. This is key to resting well.

"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday." (Winnie the Pooh)


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