“Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life” – Dallas Willard
I forgot it’s supposed to be fun – this life God created. Instead of joy, rest, relationship and service, I’m swallowed by life’s demands.
- To-Do lists
- Other people’s agendas
- Doctor appointments
- Calls to the insurance, cable, cel phone company
- Commitments I feel obligated to show up for
- School events, presentations and programs
I get weary and exhausted, worn out from life. It’s all I can do to keep up and yet, I long for more. More relationship, less hurry. More fulfillment, fewer tasks. More adventure, less routine. “If I just had more time” is a familiar thought.
It all seems so urgent and necessary – the have-tos scream for my attention and punish when I ignore them.
Relationship is the thing I sacrifice when life kicks into overdrive. I have no time for God, friends or family. I have all this stuff that needs to get done, receive my attention. I can always make time for relationship later.Urgent and hurry are the enemy of love and relationship. Click To Tweet
It takes time to listen and connect. It takes time to care. The demands of life often feel like bondage and keep me from how I want to live and love. I’m not free to be spontaneous or care or serve – my time is booked and there’s no room. I have a schedule, not a life.
I can’t help but think of Mary and Martha:
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her. — Luke 10:40-42 NIV
Me as Martha on my way back to the kitchen, “so does that mean you won’t make her help me?”
It’s hard to pause and tell myself the details, the work isn’t important. Martha wanted her guests to be comfortable and fed. Mary decided the urgent could wait – this was a chance to sit at Jesus’ feet – something she wasn’t going to miss.
I am most definitely Martha. Tasks are essential, sitting at Jesus’ feet, a luxury. I think I’m being responsible – yet this self imposed schedule becomes a barrier to God.
In John Ortberg’s book, Soul Keeping, he writes:
“Being hurried is an inner-condition, a condition of the soul. It means to be so preoccupied with myself and my life that I am unable to be fully present with God, with myself, and with other people. I am unable to occupy this present moment. Busy-ness migrates to hurry when we let it squeeze God out of our lives.” Ortberg goes on to say, “Jesus was often busy, but never hurried.”
Inner hurry wears me out – life’s tasks are like shoveling snow in a blizzard. If I wait for everything to get done, quiet down, I’ll never have time for God or anyone else. More often, I need to put aside (or let go) the urgent – like laundry – for the important – giving my son undivided attention while he shows me something. I think it’s in these moments, the moments sandwiched between have-tos and appointments where real life happens.
What urgent thing can you put aside this week to make room for relationship?