Just before my dad died, he had the opportunity to speak privately with each of his 14 children. He offered his last bits of advice to each of us. Some of my siblings got some heavy messages … but mine was really pretty short and simple. My dad told me that I needed to slow down, not always be in such a hurry. Although simple for him to say, and simple for me to understand, it isn’t so simple to do. (Don’t a lot of aspects of life fall into that category?)
At a business conference last week, I actually saw a man walking down the hallway with two cell phones … one in each ear. Do you ever find yourself texting several people at once, talking to two or three people at a time on the phone, and all-the-while Googling something on your computer? And then we demand instant results. Faster internet. Faster food. Faster answers. We want it … and we want it now! SO HURRY!
We juggle careers, marriage, family responsibilities, social obligations, hobbies, church and volunteer activities. While we constantly hurry to fit in more and more, we are teaching our kids to do the same. School kids fall in bed exhausted after homework, sports, dance, and a myriad of activities. Often times, they never got a chance to just relax and play.
Why do we speed up the merry-go-round? Our insecurity and the fear of missing something, falling behind, or being found out to be less than we want others to see us, or our pride in wanting our will be done, and then not resting because someone else’s plan will control us. So Satan gives us an answer: Hurry! One of the biggest enemies to our spiritual maturity is hurry. We are so busy, so distracted, and so preoccupied that we settle for something less than the authentic Christian life. In our fast-paced culture, there is an epidemic of “hurry sickness”.
If you feel you are always running behind and wish your day could be 30 hours long, you are suffering from hurry sickness. The results? Constant stress. Frustration. Fatigue. Strained relationships. Feelings of incompetence. Mixed-up priorities. And most important … neglecting time with God. That neglect can rob you of the rest and peace He wants to give you.
In today’s scripture, God calls us to cease striving and know that He is God. In other words, stop trying so hard to do it all in your time and your own way. Stop fighting and struggling. Remember that He is God … and you are not. We need to spend quiet time with Him. We need to remember that He is in control. He wants us to put Him first and to rest in Him … to lean on Him for help. We need to let Him guide us in order to find balance for our lives.
Today, when you are in a hurry, STOP! Ask yourself, “Why?” “Is this situation really life-and- death?” “I am so rushed and frenzied, have I really even examined why I am doing this task?” Focus on Him and His plan … not our own. Only then will we be able to step off the treadmill of hurry and onto the path of Christ-likeness and experience His peace. Your decision, choose wisely!
Father, I am tired of being overly busy. I have so much going on. I know I am neglecting some of the most important things. At the top of that list is my time with You. Please forgive me. Help me to get my life and time in balance. Help me to remember to focus on You and to depend on Your strength. Please heal me of this hurry sickness. Help me tolerate the discomfort that is the engine for my hurry and instead turn to You for comfort, rest, and answers. I pray in the name of the most patient One, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
“Cease striving and know that I am God.”