Life is too short to be in a hurry

Tim Brister —  March 11, 2013 — 16 Comments

hurry-manFor the past several weeks, I’ve been reflecting on living a hurried life. I become convicted of patterns and pursuits counterproductive to the mission to make disciples. The rhythm of society these days seems to be so out of step with the cadence Jesus set out for his disciples. Here is the Savior of the world, the Author of time, never in a hurry in accomplishing the most life-changing, history-shaping mission the world has ever known.

Someone in a hurry makes an idol out of time. They allow the present to be dictated by the future. Lusting after not-yet moments, we deprive ourselves from the already present moments when we are called to love. Skillful living is making most of the time through a redemptive lifestyle, and ironically, making the most of time does not come by hurrying up but by slowing down.

One of the great hindrances to life on mission is being in a hurry. Have you noticed how impossible it is for a hurried person to love someone? They may be physically present, but they are mentally distant. They may give you lip service, but their hearts are far from you. Don’t get me wrong. There are good intentions with being in a hurry. I want to get things done. I love being productive. But when the product takes precedence over people, then my usefulness ironically makes me unproductive for the mission. Even worse, I begin to treat people like product rather than objects of my affection–to listen, to learn, to love. All those things that takes time–things that the absence of margin and presence of hurry rob us from experiencing as we controlled by a rhythm of life that takes the life out of us.

Disciples of Jesus cannot be controlled by time or enamored by the future. Idolizing time breeds unbelief in Jesus, who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. When we are set free to slow down, we can calibrate our lives according to the cadence of the kingdom. One of the simplest ways of being out of step with the world is not living to keep up with it. I am not advocating a life of laziness but rather a pursuit of presence. It’s a perseverance in abiding, not a fleeing for fleeting moments.

Truly, Jesus’ yoke is easy inasmuch as Jesus is not in a hurry. My yoke is hard because the burdens I create are heavy. I’m learning the joyful consequences of preferring Jesus’ yoke over mine. And when His joy is mine, I find that His glory shines in the very places and among the faces of people I’m privileged to love and give my life away. So Lord, let me live on mission so that when the Spirit calls me to make much of Jesus, I can genuinely respond with “present.”

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  • Yes, yes, and yes. I hear you on this Tim. Great reminder. Thanks for sharing your insight!

  • Jason W.

    Thanks for this post Tim. I have been struggling with this very thing lately. I particularly felt it on Sunday mornings as I was trying to rush around to get things ready and realized I was walking right past the very people God has called me to love and shepherd. Again, thanks for the post.

    Jason W.

  • Nick Horton

    This has been hard for me to learn, as well as to put in practice. It requires my constant vigilance. There is so much need, so much to be done, but I have to give up any notion that it’s only me that can do it. It has actually taken me years to transition away from business to contentment in the moment. From work idolatry, to the practice of being present. The results to my marriage, my relationship with my son, and my walk with God have been rewarding and lasting.

  • Freddy

    Much needed, personally. Thanks, Tim.

  • I often wonder if the priest and the Levite who ignored the wounded man in the Parable of the Good Samaritan were doing so because they were in a little bit of a hurry. Regardless of their motivations, hurry and busyness are certainly behind a lot of our failure to love our neighbor as ourselves.

  • Richard

    The more I elevate my self-importance, the more hurried I become. In other words, eyes on self produces a different outcome than eyes on God’s Word.

    • Jean Beaudry

      “Elevate my self importance…” Truth! Thanks for the nugget of Gold.

  • Jeremy

    Really appreciated this reminder. This is so hard to put into practice since western life is on a clock and we can’t get away from it, even within the church.

  • The ” pursuit of presence”. Love that. Needed to read this today.

  • Laurie P.

    Outstanding! Simply loved this post. “The cadence of the kingdom”…brilliant!

  • Jean Beaudry


    I’m not usually a good shopper… I go in get what I need and rush out. In my rush to get it done I get VERY annoyed with everyone who appears to BLOCK my path. Narrow aisles, shopping carts parked in the middle stopping all efficient flow of traffic. Price checks at the Dollar Store. IT’S A DOLLAR, SILLY??? Your so rude to make me wait… Don’t you know that I’m in a hurry? Or if I’m occupied with something like a good book or listening to something I consider important, and someone interrupts my thoughts… Usually by someone who just can’t wait because they’re in a HURRY. It seems to go both ways. If I’m in a hurry, I get interrupted and if people are in a hurry, I still get interrupted. HURRY, for me is the INTERRUPTER of all and all things work out for the good for all who love The Lord.

    1Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    -Philippians 4:6 (NASB)

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