“Jesus was often busy, but He was never hurried. Being busy is an outer condition; being hurried is a sickness of the soul.” John Ortberg
A couple of weeks ago, I just finished Six Basics of a Balanced Life by Carol Kent & Karen Lee-Thorp. There’s a chapter on having fun and relaxation. One of the exercises is to spend an hour to half a day doing nothing. I finally got around to doing it a week and a half ago. It was HARD. I got antsy really early on. Slowing down is definitely a skill I need to learn.
As I’ve had more energy this year, I find myself rushing all the time–rushing from one activity to the next, hurrying to finish whatever I’m in the middle of so I can get to the next thing that needs to get done. Sometimes, I feel like I only have two speeds–too sick to move and 100 mph (which is probably why I get too sick to move). I’m trying to build margin and non-rushing time into my schedule, which is not easy, especially when it feels like everything needs to be done right now.
I love the idea that being hurried is a sickness of the soul. It’s definitely held true for me. As I’ve been paying attention to when I’m rushing, I realized that I have a lot of fear and shame mixed in with the busy-ness. Thanks to my life experiences, there’s this innate sense that bad things will happen if I don’t get something done on time and also that I’m a bad person if I don’t get enough done. Maybe you have that too.
I also love that Jesus was never hurried. John Ortberg talks about how love is impossible when you’re rushed. Love takes time and rushed people don’t have time. Yet we see Jesus doing things like stopping for the older woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years–despite the fact that he was on the way to heal a dying child. He definitely wasn’t in a rush.
But the more I think about it, the more I think not being rushed is a natural outflow of being grounded in God. If we really believe that God’s in control of our schedules, if we really believe that God gives us the exact right amount of things to do in any given day, if we really believe that He’s prepared good works in advance for us (good works that may or may not be actually on our to-do lists), if we really believe that He provides everything we need so we never need to be frantic or desperate to obtain what we need–do we have any reason to rush?