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Are you suffering from HURRY sickness? I do sometimes.

May 13, 2013

Are you always in a hurry? Be honest. Have you already scrolled to the bottom of this post to preview how long it would take to read? 🙂

I’ll give you 6 ways to discover if you suffer from “hurry sickness” and 2 ways to cure it.


Two weeks ago as we finished our coffee, I was about to rush to my next appointment when my friend gently asked, “Mark, before you go, is there anything in your life that I can be praying for?” For some reason, it felt like a life-line being thrown to person who didn’t know they were drowning.

My mind and heart were already halfway to the car when my friend asked his question. I settled back into my seat and I tried to share a little of the heaviness I was feeling. But I didn’t know how and I was a little embarrassed that I wasn’t making any sense.

My friend said, “You know every morning I walk a few blocks to hand deliver my retired Mom her newspaper. The birds are always chirping. Sometimes I don’t hear them until I’m halfway back and sometimes I hear them the minute I walk out of the door. It all depends on how big of a hurry I’m in because they’re always chirping. Mark, I’d like to encourage you to ‘listen for the birds’.”

I smiled because my friend had just put his finger on a burden I was unable to express.

Jesus was aware of the hurry problem in the first century. He withdrew from the crowds to go to a deserted place or a mountain to rest and pray.

“Following Jesus cannot be done at a sprint. Hurried is not just a disordered schedule. Hurried is a disordered heart.” -John Ortberg

“Hurry is not of the devil; hurry is the devil.” -Carl Jung

*6 ways to know if you’re suffering from “hurry sickness”:

1. Waiting drives you crazy – Whether it’s checking out at the grocery store, at a stop sign or in traffic, you immediately become anxious when you have to wait.
2. Constantly Multi-tasking – You don’t just drive, you drive and conduct business or drive while you put on makeup or drive while you eat.
3. More – You have several books and projects you need to do. A couple of them are on time-management. You feel guilty because you need to get more done.
4. Superficiality – Depth comes slowly. But if you’re trying to microwave maturity and relationships you’ll find yourself eating Hot Pockets with superficial friends.
5. Unable to Love – “Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible. Love always takes time and time is one thing hurried people don’t have.”  -J. Ortberg
6. Sunset Fatigue – Lewis Grant coined the term “Sunset fatigue”. This is when you come home from a full-day’s work, but you have nothing left for those you love the most.

2 ways to help you cure your “hurry sickness”:

 1. Embrace delays – Like a game, choose the slow lane on the road or long line at the grocery store. Embrace delays and cultivate patience telling God you trust Him to get everything done.

 2. Solitude – Following the model of Jesus in the New Testament, the early church fathers placed a premium on solitude. Solitude can be done in brief, regular periods (5 minutes beginning and end of day) and longer, less frequent periods (an entire day once or twice or year). If you’ve never done this it will take time to develop this important skill of doing nothing.

*From John Ortberg’s book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted.

I’m tempted to lead a hurried life when I want to matter more or make a bigger difference. What tempts you to lead a hurried life?

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