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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Salter Goodwin

Living Un-hurried in a Hurry-up World

Hurry is our mantra. Do everything fast. Be more productive. Multi-task.

Where did I get the idea that I had to hurry? It isn’t in the Bible. The only time Jesus told anyone to hurry was to Judas. Not exactly a good argument for our hurried lives.

In the two weeks I had COVID, there was nothing “hurry” about my life. Everything came to a squealing stop. Even after I tested negative, I couldn’t return to my hurry-up life. I didn’t have the energy to hurry. I walked slower. I thought slower. I completed every task more slowly.

And I liked the new rhythm. I liked the awareness of being present instead of hurrying to the next thing. I mean I really liked it. Gave me pause. And pause was what I needed.

But here is my problem now. When fatigue gave me lead shoes to slow me down, it was easy to un-hurry. Now, it is a choice and it’s harder.

What am I choosing? Just to live slow and produce less? I don’t think so. I think what I want to choose is to live present and connect more deeply.

I want to take my daily walk without checking it off as a healthy task. I want to see what I’ve missed when I hurry past people, opportunities, beauty—anything that adds more to my life than just simply checking off my to-do list. I want to slow down the thinking that pushes me to do anything faster. I am learning that when I slow down, I hear more around me and I hear differently inside. I hear God’s whispers, for one thing. He doesn’t have to knock me down to get my attention.

This doesn’t mean I won’t work hard or focused. But I’m trying to lose my own thumb at my back. I want to work steady and smart but without a desperate hurry. Desperation doesn’t fuel creativity or relationships, or any good thing.

I like the way that Alan Falding stated it in his book An Unhurried Life: “Hurry has become a habit: I find myself stuck in emergency mode.”

How do we un-hurry when we’ve given our life to perfecting it as an art form? Here are a few ways I’m starting the process of healing from the unnecessary need to hurry:

  • Take more look and listen breaks. Listen to the birds or look at the last fistfuls of crepe myrtle blooms out my window.

  • Purposefully stand at a window and see how the trees don’t hurry. How the grass doesn’t hurry. How the clouds don’t hurry. God’s creation doesn’t hurry, and neither should I.

  • Refuse to make un-hurry simply about working more effectively because it keeps the focus on the task and not the unhurrying.

  • Drink in beauty. The more I see beauty around me, the more slowly I want to experience it. Sunrises. Sunsets. The silk web blowing in the wind without breaking.

Can I do this? I honestly don’t know. As soon as my energy came back, I found myself easily hurrying without thinking about it.

But I want to try. I am going to try. If un-hurrying will help me hear God’s loving whispers in my heart more regularly, it is a good enough reason to try.

To be continued . . .

Picture: Pixaby.

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