Busyness vs. Hurriedness

Some time ago I was invited to talk to a class full of budding pastors.  What they wanted to know from me is how to have a fruitful and enduring ministry.  While visiting the class I listed a few points, but concluded by saying, “all these don’t matter if you don’t pay attention to this one thing.”  Students leaned forward in their chairs, pens ready to record this one great secret.  I told them, “nothing else will matter if you don’t learn to master hurry.” You could see their faces register immediate disappointment.  That’s it???  One student raised their hand declaring, “Jesus was really busy!”  I answered, “he was indeed…but he was never…I repeat never…led by hurry.”.  Another student queried, “well is there a difference between being hurried and being busy?”  “Absolutely”, I replied.  Let me tell you what I offered to them.

Busyness slides into hurriedness when we let outward demands conquer our inner person.  We lose a sense of who we are, why we are doing what we are doing and ultimately for who we are doing it.  John Ortberg says, “Busyness migrates to hurry when we let it squeeze God out of our lives.”

So, for Jesus (who was really busy!) he rose early in the day to gain a clear sense of balance (see Luke 5:16).  The demands he encountered were met with a recharged soul not a frantic scrambling.  In like fashion, we need to have regular practices that help nurture and care for our inner person.  One way to think about this is that our “output” must be ruled and managed by our “input”.  Often times we are given job descriptions that are impossibly busy so we take time management courses, or get administrative tips.  Those will help some, but hurriedness will win the day if we don’t learn to pace from within.

Over the next few posts I will offer you a few things to consider in the battle with hurriedness.  But for now, ask yourself this question, “do I know how to be still from within?”   We all know calm people, but do we know how to carry around some quiet? Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are learning!  Hopefully these next posts will help.

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