Hurry and Busy

June 2, 2017

“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.

  • Chores
  • To-Do lists
  • Errands
  • 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?

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

    1. I was definitely Martha before 2008. My husband taught us to live our lives with no regrets the last 16 months of his own. My boys and I learned that time is our most precious commodity and it is what we do with that time that defines us.
      Although I still get caught up in the chaos of schedules being a single Mom, and now after losing my Mother, who was a huge support system to me with my family, I can still choose to not get sucked into my former Martha-esk lifestyle. In the end, the most important thing is how I spent my time. Take care of what needs to be taken care of first and then give yourself the time to spend on the important things. Hard to reprogram ourselves that way, but after having so many losses, it is my road map for my life.

      1. Thank you Mary Anne for your wonderful words. You are a blessing and have been through so much. ❤️ You continue to love your family and thrive with a loving, positive outlook. You always inspire me.

        1. Thanks Liz! That means a lot to me. If we were told tomorrow we had only a certain amount of time left on this earth – what would we do with it? It is a conscious choice we have to make, not an easy one, but our choice on how to live everyday.

    1. Love this post! Ironically , I was actually reading the article and was out of breathe as I read each word. Crazy right? Rushing around to run to the store when really-there is no rush at all! I actually have two full hours before the children need to be picked up from school. However- I am realizing that I am so used to rushing to do everything that it is hard for me to slow it down. Dear Lord- for today I will commit to slow down even though it actually feels awkward for me to do things slowly. It feels actually “new” to sit and prioritize and NOT get stressed if I leave something for another day and that prioritization and dumping off the plate makes me feel quilts and “less than” I know – crazy! Somehow I have been conditioned to rush around like a lunitic as life is a rush. I have been conditioned in my brain that I am not”good enough” if I done get anything and everything accomplished.
      LIz- Thank you so much for the blog. It really resonates with me!
      Mary-that Ja for sharing your post as it reminds me of really what life is all about and allowed me to recognize (for the millionth time) to slow down! Thanks again ladies!

      1. Thank you for your great comment! I relate so much with all you said. “Do more” is my default – so sad that it feels wrong to take my time and be intentional.

    1. Hi Liz. Always look forward to your blog. By the way, your writings should also be read by Dads, especially this one. Keep them coming. You have a flare for bringing out what should be obvious, but seldom are. In my book the Lord is using you in a very special way. You’re right up there with the best Christian Got to go now. Have to hurry otherwise late again. 😱

    1. Thank you ❤️❤️❤️Great comment! I appreciate your kind words.

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