“You need to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
That is a famous quote by a Christian philosopher called Dallas Willard; a quote that I heard recently and it has stuck in my mind.
The holiday season is a time of the year in which we are usually hurrying —although it is a little different this year. During conversations with friends and family, I have found that there are two kinds of people out there:
- People that are stressed because they must “hurry”. They are in a hurry to plan their holiday event, get in all the sales, get their work wrapped up before the year end, get presents for the kid, etc. Hurry, hurry, hurry.
- People that are stressed because they are used to ‘hurrying’ during this time, but because of COVID they find themselves sitting at home doing nothing. They miss “hurrying” around.
We live in a society that glorifies being busy and hurrying. I honestly believe that one of the reasons people have been having a hard time this year is because we were told to be still and sit home. Many of our places, events and opportunities for “hurrying” were taken away.
Dallas Willard also said:
“Hurry is the great enemy of the spiritual life. Eliminate hurry, and you will find the rest Jesus offers.”
The Bible tell us the same thing, we all heard the verse:
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
In this verse the words “Be still”, is the Hebrew word “raphah” (רָפָה ) which if you look at Strong’s Concordance it means to sink, to relax, to drop.
I especially like how the The Message paraphrases the verse:
Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything.” Psalm 46:8-10
Of course, there are season of our life when we have to hurry, like Ecclesiastes 3 says “There is a time for everything”
However, if in our lives we are always “hurrying” or just thinking about how much we should be “hurrying” but cannot, then we miss out the rest that Jesus offers.
Now we must be wise with our time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). However, wisdom also means knowing when to stop hurrying and learn to be still, relax, rest and step out of the traffic.
God finds the concept of rest very important, for this reason, God rested on the Sabbath—even though He doesn’t need rest (Genesis 2:2-3). Furthermore, if you follow Jesus’ life, He was never hurrying. He was always surrounded by people asking him to do something or another. He had a lot of work feeding, healing, teaching, going from town to town. However, He still took the time to break away from His work and pray:
“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” – Matthew 14:23:
He understood that stepping out of the traffic and resting in prayer with the Father was important. Even when people told Him to “hurry up” to save his friend Lazarus, Jesus still took his time because regardless of whether He hurried or not, God’s will would be done (John 11). Jesus also encouraged his apostles to go to a quiet place even though there was a lot of people coming to see them (Mark 6:31)
He didn’t tell his disciples: “Hurry up guys, we got like 5000 people to talk to and feed. Hurry up Peter, get off that rock! Don’t you see all the work we got to do!” (Honestly, that would probably would have been me if I was in that situation)
I do not know if you are in hurry this season or if you are stressed our due to the lack of hurry. However, I pray that you learn to be still and “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. “