Hurry Up and Slow Down!

In 1925, about half of the homes in the United States had electricity. Edison had introduced the incandescent light bulb a little over 40 years earlier. Alarm clocks gained popularity during those years, although the snooze button did not come around until the 1950’s. As homes added these innovations, everything began to change. Before that, the average American got eleven hours of sleep. Now the average is seven. Although we sleep less, we still think we never have enough time. Thus we are constantly in a hurry. Corrie Ten Boom, who spent years in a Nazi prison camp during World War II, described this new problem this way, “If the devil can’t make us bad, he’ll make us busy.” How can we live counter-culturally in a world that presses us to be in a hurry all the time?
In his book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer reminds that the antidote to hurry is found in the pages of scripture. There are four practices we can bring into our lives to live at the pace God designed for us.
  • Silence and Solitude – Mark 1:35, Luke 22:39 – How often do you have quiet time to yourself? If Jesus needed it, so do we.
  • Sabbath (Rest) – Exodus 31:13, Mark 2:27 – Did you know that the average American touches his or her phone over 2600 times per day? The times that we used to be at rest are now spent with screens. God rested and gave His people the gift to do the same.
  • Simplicity – Matthew 6:21, 2 Corinthians 1:12 – How many emails are in your inbox? How much stuff do we need? Could the stuff in your garage, shed or storage unit be used by someone else?
  • Slowing – Ephesians 4:2, 1 Corinthians 13:4 – Sometimes we can notice unnecessary hurry in the times we are impatient. In his book, Comer suggests intentionally choosing the longest checkout line at the grocery store. Who does that? People who are not in a hurry do. Once at the front of the line, you can be a blessing to the cashier who likely need some of that.
Eliminating hurry can help us be more ready to be present with God and others.

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