by Calven Celliers
This morning a congregant called to say that he needed to make an appointment to come and see me. I responded by saying, “Sure, no problem. Quickly pop into the Church office, and come have a chat.” He then asked me, “Does it have to be quickly?” We had a good giggle, but the conversation left me thinking about one of the biggest enemies of our spirituality: hurry! We are so busy, so distracted, and so preoccupied in our fast-paced culture; never mind COVID-19, there is a pandemic of hurry sickness.
One of my favourite authors, A.W.Tozer mused, “May not the inadequacy of much of our spiritual experience be traced back to our habit of skipping through the corridors of the kingdom like little children through the market place, chattering about everything but pausing to learn the true value of nothing.”
Stroll down the street in any major metropolitan city and you’ll see it: stressed-out, chronically overtired business people running to the next obligation without stopping to breathe, eat, or think. It’s just as prevalent in suburbs where parents drive their kids from activity to activity without pause, and in workplaces where employees work for 70-hour weeks with just two weeks off per year. This go-go-go mentality is what researchers call “the cult of busy”. It’s pervasive, it’s unavoidable, and it’s damaging our lives. If you feel as though you are always running behind and wish that your day could be 36 hours long, you are probably suffering from hurry sickness. The results? Constant stress. Frustration. Fatigue. Strained relationships. Mixed-up priorities. And most important, neglect of time with God. That neglect can rob you of the abundant life that He wants to give you.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe your life is filled with constant motion — sports, academic obligations, church, work, meetings, cleaning, keeping tiny humans alive, chauffeuring kids, or managing a home or office. Our hectic, fast-paced, ‘Energizer-Bunny’ lives of constant going and going and going can fool us into believing the lie that busyness equals productivity.
Let’s hit the pause button of our lives for a few seconds, take a deep breath, and briefly reflect on these three searching questions that blogger and Bible teacher, Sophie MacDonald asks, in an article of hers that I read, with regard to evaluating our schedules:
- What do our schedules say about the God we claim to follow? Our activity flows directly from our view of God. Does your schedule reflect your belief that He is sovereign, omnipotent, and all-sufficient? We cannot reflect the beauty of our limitless God if we’re too busy trying to be Him, or too busy in general. Though followers of Jesus are not to be lazy, we should be the most at-rest people, as we serve the God who has complete sovereignty over every atom in the universe.
- Are you being faithful? There are always more committees to join, things to do, and people to meet with. But what have you been called to right now? Maybe you can’t say yes to as many things in this season as you could the last, or maybe you can say it more. But what is priority? Essential? What has God called you to be immediately faithful in?
- Have you surrendered your schedule to Christ? The core of our frenetic lives is not dependence on God, but a desperate urge to control every detail of our lives. We don’t like depending on His sufficiency, but rather, flexing our muscles to show our worth. A surrendered schedule demonstrates dependence on the Holy Spirit, who is to lead and govern our days. Not having a jam-packed day creates availability to go, do, and be, as the Lord intended for His ambassadors.
“10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”” (Psalm 46:10NIV)