Faith Moment
January 14, 2012
Slowing the Pace

Pastor and author John Ortberg writes:

Not long after moving to Chicago, I called a wise friend to ask for some spiritual direction. I described the pace of life in my current ministry. The church where I serve tends to move at a fast clip. I also told him about our rhythms of family life: we are in the van-driving, soccer-league, piano-lesson, school-orientation-night years. I told him about the present condition of my heart, as best I could discern it. What did I need to do, I asked him, to be spiritually healthy?

Long pause.

"You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life," he said at last.

Another long pause.

"Okay, I've written that one down," I told him, a little impatiently. "That's a good one. Now, what else is there?" I had many things to do, and this was a long-distance call, so I was anxious to cram as many units of spiritual wisdom into the least amount of time possible.

Another long pause.

"There is nothing else," he said. "You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life."

I have reflected on this seemingly too-simple prescription. Is it possible that my spiritual health is directly related to the pace of life? Is it even possible to eliminate hurry in today’s world?

When our children were young, Gayle and I began to realize that “Hurry up” was such a common phrase in our lives, that the children didn’t associate it with the actual concept of hurrying, they thought it was simply part of the routine of getting ready to go. You were required to say, “hurry up” whenever you prepared to leave the house. That told me we had a “hurry” problem.

I've concluded that my life and the well-being of the people I serve depends on following this prescription, for hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. Hurry destroys souls.

With Love,

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