Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Hurry Sickness

Dallas Willard once said to John Orthberg;

‘You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life’

He was talking about spiritual health and the prevalence of ‘hurry sickness’ in our culture, he went on to say…

‘Hurry is the great spiritual enemy of our day; there’s a difference between being busy and being hurried. Busy is the condition of the body having many things to do, hurry is a condition of the soul in which I am so preoccupied that I cannot be fully present to God or to a person. Jesus was often busy but he never hurried.’   (‘Living in Christs Presence’ Dallas Willard)

These words have gripped me recently in the way that truth does and I’ve been grappling ever since. 
I would say that I am fairly obsessed with busyness and hurrying.

 Like many of my generation I wear hurry as a badge of honour, equating it with productivity and therefore worth.

I power walk everywhere and tend to measure my day exclusively by how much stuff I’ve managed to cram into it. Even since writing this post I have had to stop myself twice from cursing my very elderly and infuriatingly slow laptop. 

We were recently asked to pick up my grandmother from Leeds on our way down to the family gathering in Shropshire.  Horrified, I quickly calculated that this would add on give or take two hours to our journey, a fact that caused me much distress.

Fortunately Matt is considerably less selfish than me and he had already agreed to the extra miles before I’d finished plotting out the journey on Google maps!

It is synonymous with hurry sickness, this cutting of corners for convenience.

I think I would have become frustrated hanging around with Jesus because he never seems to move anywhere awfully quickly what with the needy crowds and the object lessons which took place on the way to pretty much anywhere.

The most common thing I hear God say to me is ‘Look!’ he points out the beauty to me in a flower, the shape of a cloud or the colour of a brick in a faded wall, reminding me to wonder at the little things.

I stopped taking pictures a while ago now, I think because I ran out of time to pause and look.

So moving forward, I want to take this idea seriously, to be fully present and not always rush to the next thing, so I plan to (as Willard suggests) take the time to practice not being in a hurry, to join the slowest queue in the shop, to get into the slowest moving lane in traffic.

Though this sounds just the teensiest bit like torture to me I am willing to test a theory and try to shake off the mind set that to be alive I must be ever moving.

No comments:

Post a Comment