"Hurry is not of the devil; hurry is the devil.” Carl Jung
I find it impossible to read the Gospels and get a sense that Jesus was ever in a hurry. He was busy for sure, but hurry? I just can’t find it. It was evident he worked hard, I mean the Sermon on the Mount is the most famous and impactful oration in the history of mankind. (Matthew 5-7) That took some effort. I’ve never healed anyone, but I imagine that would be somewhat taxing. (Matthew 8: 16) He was in conflict with the religious leaders of his day, and I think we all know how hard of work conflict is! (Matthew 12: 1-7) Despite all of this, I see no indication of haste or hurry.
“You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life… Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day.” Dallas Willard
Over the last several weeks we have probably all been home a lot more. It has been an adjustment, to say the least. For some, it has been a time of refreshment; a lighter schedule filled with more rest and more margin. For others, endless conference or video calls from dawn until dusk carrying a different type of exhaustion. For many, we are somewhere in between these extremes. Don’t be surprised if you cope with your lack of hurriedness with distraction. Our phones, DIY projects, looking at our 401K, purchasing food/toilet paper, and dropping twenty pounds can all be such coping distractions. And while those aren’t sinful in and of themselves, they can keep us from a greater good.
People are “distracted from distraction by distraction.” T.S Elliot
“We, for every kind of reason, good and bad, are distracting ourselves into spiritual oblivion.” Ronald Rolheiser
At the beginning of Matthew 13, we get an amazing picture. In verse one it says, “That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.” If we are in a hurry we might miss it; Jesus sitting by the sea. Can you picture that in your mind? Have you ever sat by the sea or any body of water? It is the opposite of hurry. It is peace. It is what Jesus offers his followers as they live in him. (Matthew 11:29-30) I don’t know about you, but I don’t just need a vacation; I need to sit by the sea every day.
“Love, joy, and peace are at the heart of all Jesus is trying to grow in the soil of your life. And all three are incompatible with hurry.” John Mark Comer
This time is not just giving us a chance to slow down, but to recalibrate our loves and lives. We don’t need more time; we need to focus and spend our time on things that really matter. That starts with Jesus. His love changes us and allows us to be a blessing to those around us. It is a time to connect with him through prayer and reading His word. When we do so, we find ourselves content, fulfilled, and rich beyond this world.