Washington District Newsletter-July 2011July_2011_PXK2WD4M.oldoc.doc
Perceptions from a Pewboy
(offered by a superintendent to the people with whom he journeys)
The other day, I found myself re-reading a couple of chapters of John Ortberg’s “The Life You’ve Always Wanted.” In that helpful and insightful book, Ortberg highlights what he describes as “the hurry sickness.” One of the most significant symptoms of the hurry sickness, according to Ortberg, is a greatly reduced capacity to love. Ortberg puts it this way:
The most serious sign of hurry sickness is a diminished capacity to love.
Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible. Love always takes time, and time is one thing hurried people don’t have…Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life. Hurry lies behind much of the anger and frustration of modern life. Hurry prevents us from receiving love from the Father or giving it to his children. That’s why Jesus never hurried. If we are to follow Jesus, we must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives—because, by definition, we can’t move faster than the one we are following.
Of course, whenever I find myself convicted by this sort of prophetic word, the sense of conviction immediately gives way to a host of seemingly unanswerable “how to” questions: How do I eliminate hurry in a life that is replete with appointments and deadlines? How do I avoid a rushed pace when there are only so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, and so many things to accomplish if I am going to stand in the pulpit on Sunday with any degree of preparedness? How do I slow the pace of my living when so much in my life would suggest that I’m already moving too slowly as it is?
These are some of the questions that are framing my prayer as I enter the summer months. I’m not waiting for easy answers. But I am convinced that part of the solution for me is to make certain that I am intentional about liberating my calendar from an overscheduled condition, so that the experience of Sabbath becomes a consistent discipline rather than an occasional allowance. I am also of the conviction that Sabbath, much like prayer, must become a way of life for me instead of simply a day set apart. How might every day be different in its pace, for example, if I set aside a few minutes every hour or two to close my eyes, or to pray, or to sing, or to walk, all for the purpose of making myself available for the small but perhaps transformational momentary “Sabbaths” that God makes possible?
I’m a pilgrim on the journey. I simply want to avoid the sin of journeying too quickly. There are too many important moments to experience along the way.
Blessings to you and yours in these days of summer.