Reflection: Curing Hurry Sickness
‘You can’t follow Jesus at a sprint.’ – John Ortberg
‘Hurry is not of the Devil, hurry IS the Devil ‘– Carl Young
The practice of fasting, solitude, and Sabbath can help apprentices of Jesus ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives. Jesus knew that a life of hurry can destroy our souls. Hurry makes an apprentice of Jesus skim over life rather than actually living life.
Hurry sickness is a disease of our day and culture. Hurry sickness is a continuous striving to cram more and more into less and less time. Hurry will keep us consumed by the riches and pleasures of life, preventing the way of Jesus from being cultivated in our hearts.
Jesus was often very busy, but never appeared to be in a hurry. He never rushed in a way that cut him off from fellowship with the Father or from the needs of those around Him whom He loved. Furthermore, He reined in the disciple’s activities in by intentionally urging them to take time out. Jesus appeared to know that depth always comes lowly. In other words, we cannot go faster than the One who is leading us.
Do you have hurry sickness? Let’s do a hurry MRI of your life:
- Do you nod faster when people are talking just to get them to get to the point?
- When you come to a red light, do you examine the make and driver of other cars to decide which lane to get in to get through the light quicker?
- At a grocery store, do we count the number of people in each check out line, then examine the number of items in each cart, do the math, and chose the most likely faster line?
- Once in that line, do we watch the other lines to see if the line we could have been in moves faster than our line, and if so, feel crummy that we chose the line we chose (or feel great because we were wise enough to chose the faster line if we zip through)?
- Do you drive, eat, read, talk on the cellophone, and do personal hygiene all at the same time?
- Do you buy time-saving gadgets, but don’t have the time to read how to use them?
- Do you find yourself setting up contests in your family to see how fast you can get things done, not for the fun of it, but because you personally need to get it over with?
- Are you smitten with ‘sunset fatigue’ – feeling too tired, drained, and pre-occupied to care about the ones you should care most for?
We can become unhurried people. We can become patient people. It would appear the key to breaking free is the habit of DOING WITHOUT. One part of that habit is doing without people-interaction. Solitude. As Jesus told his disciples, ‘Come away to a deserted place and rest a while,’ (Mark 6:31), he says to His followers today. Solitude is the furnace of transformation, because solitude is the one place we can gain traction from the forces of our culture that will otherwise relentlessly mold us. Like the proverbial frog in the kettle, we are slowly cooked by our hurry-sick culture, almost unaware it is happening. Solitude takes us out of the kettle and gives up perspective on just how much we are being cooked. Paul told us not to let the world around us squeeze us into its own mold [Rom. 12:2]– and in our society, that mold is hurry. The truth is, as much as we complain about it, we are addicted to hurry. It makes us feel important and needed. It keeps our adrenaline pumping. It allows us to not feel our loneliness, or have to look too deep at our emptiness.
Solitude is carving time away from the world, taking nothing with us. Solitude is soul-fasting – to withdraw from conversation, the presence of others, noise, constant stimulation. In solitude, we get rid of our scaffolding – the things that prop us up day-to-day. We come before God just as we are. Think of an old wind up clock when thinking of solitude. These clocks need to be wound morning and evening. They need to be adjusted monthly. Finally, they should be examined and service, piece by piece, once a year.
How different would our lives be if we learned the habit of quiet withdrawal for a few minutes several times a day, for a half day or so every month to recalibrate, and for a day or two away once a year to examine the individual parts of our lives with God?
Let’s talk about this at Reflections class June 10th. Better yet, let’s blog-dialogue about this right now.