Monday Morning Devotion-March 13, 2023
What's the Hurry?
God has planted eternity in the hearts of people. Ecclesiastes 3:11
*from June 25, 2018
If you drive up to a red-light and there two cars, one in each lane, waiting for the light to change do you make a quick assessment as to which is the newer car thinking that it will be quicker starting when the light changes? Then you get behind that car.
What about when you are trying to decide which check-out line to get in at the grocery store? Do you make a snap judgement then, as the lines move forward, you keep watching the spot where you were in the other line to see if you check out first?
What is your hurry? Think about it. Why are you in such a hurry? Do you suffer from hurry sickness? Those are questions that John Ortberg once asked in a sermon.
Think about it. Don't we sometimes hurry when there is really no reason to do so. I blame it on the army! Yep, everything we did when I was in the army was "hurry up and wait." We would always fall out in formation and then march somewhere and wait. And wait. And wait some more.
There was no worry about us missing the war because we would be there way ahead of time.
Ortberg said that some of the best advice he ever got was: "You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life." I see. That's easy, right? Not!
He explained that there is a difference between being busy and being hurried. "Busy is an outer condition, having many things to do. Hurry is a disease of the soul."
In Ecclesiastes the writer says: “ God has planted eternity in the hearts of human beings."
Eternity is happening now. We think of it as something in the future, but according to that scripture eternity is already here and it is continuing.
The thing that God has planted in our hearts is love. We are told to love one another. In 1 John we read: "Beloved, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us."
The question is: Are we in too big a hurry to love others? Can we not do loving acts because we just don't have the time?
John Tadlock of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board wrote a book called: "When It's Rush Hour All Day Long." He makes these points about hurry:
1. I'm Just wild about Hurry- A guy named anonymous once said: 'Anything worth doing is worth doing frantically." We do tend to keep multiple plates spinning for work, family, church, & leisure. This can put tremendous stress in our lives. Psychiatrist Carl Jung once said: "Hurry is not of the devil; it is the devil." It is possible to live such an adrenaline-driven life that we become addicted to hurry."
2. The Costs of Hurry Sickness: "People in a hurry tend to experience a cliff notes condensed version of life. A more serious cost of hurry sickness is the exercise of poor judgment. Making impulsive decisions can result. When Jesus was fatigued, He sought solitude away from the chatter of people and the noise of busyness."
3. Prayer as Listening: Tadlock calls it 'functional deafness." Where we hear what we want to hear. We often fire our requests to God in our prayers and that can diminish the experience. We hear what we want to hear. Listening to God can be a powerful and profound experience. There is a form of prayer called Centering Prayer. It is where you just listen to God. You are silent and just try to be in His Presence and let all other thoughts float away. While it is hard to maintain that silent posture it can be very effective.
4. Getting off the Hurry-go-round: Getting devoted to "stuff" is a process that fosters a hurry-up attitude. Accumulating stuff just leads to obtaining more and more stuff. That goes for the feeling, also, that if we can just get more done then maybe everything will be fine. So, we hurry to accomplish more which leads to getting more.
5. A Well-Ordered Life: It is probably safe to assume that Jesus was interrupted a lot.
However scripture does not say anything about His ever becoming impatient with people. Here's a question: 'What if the primary focus of a person's life was measured by the way they handled interruptions.? How would you do? I'm afraid that I would not fare well.
There are many reasons that we hurry. Not a lot of them are good ones. I think with me it's a habit. I'm just used to getting places early and doing things ahead of time. If I'm running late or even just a little behind, I start feeling stress. That's when I have to take a deep breath and say; "Slow down Jim." Does that work? Sometimes it does.
We rush to avoid facing an unpleasant situation or doing something we don't want to. If we are rushing around, we don't have to think about it, much less confront it. Hurry is often a delaying tactic as we bounce from one menial task to another to avoid the big one that we should be doing.
Is the grass greener somewhere else? Maybe we rush to get somewhere and guess what? It ain't greener. We discover we were better off where we were. False perceptions easily appear when we rush around.
We may be in a hurry because we feel pressure to perform a task. We don't want to give the impression that we can't do something, so we hurry to do it. Usually that results in not getting it done.
And sometimes we are just lazy and we hurry through something without giving it proper attention. Not a good thing!
So now you know it and so do I. Hurry can be our enemy. Maybe we can't always avoid it, but we can doggone sure try. Just being aware that we are hurrying may help put our task in perspective and give us a good outcome.
Prayer: Lord, please help us to put things in perspective when we start to hurry. Temper our movements and give us wisdom to decide when we need to rush and when it is best not to. Amen!