We have become accustomed to traveling through life at lightning speed. The alarm clock rings and we hit the floor running. We fill every waking moment scurrying in three different directions. And we’re intentional about everything…we take business lunches so we can kill two birds with one stone. Even taking walks these days has morphed into exercise…no more leisurely strolls for us…we speed walk! For all of the time we spend penciling in our calendars and uploading our iPads and smartphones, somehow we still seem to be forever running late. And if you have kiddos, add in their piano lessons, play practice, ball practice and homework to squeeze in there somewhere. If we can find time to sit down together as a family for supper, we end up rehashing all the details of our chaotic lives, as we shovel our meal in as fast as we can, so we can all get to wherever it is that we are going to next.
In his book, Time Wars, Jeremy Rifkin states, "We are a nation in love with speed. We drive fast, eat fast...we’re obsessed with breaking records. We digest our life, condense our experiences and compress our thoughts. While other cultures might believe haste makes waste, we are convinced that speed reflects alertness, power and success. Americans are always in a hurry."
But, according to James Bryan Smith, the author of the book, The Good and Beautiful God, hurry is not a part of a well-lived life. He says that the #1 spiritual sickness in our day is hurry sickness.
Imagine what hurry sickness does to our relationship with God.
We've just slipped past February, the month of Valentines, hearts and love stories and I can think of no better love story than the one that God wrote. In His love letter, the Bible, God went to great lengths and at great cost to show us His love. And all He has ever wanted in return is our heart...our whole heart. But, we are so easily distracted and give our hearts to so many other things. While we dash from one thing to the next, even good things, God-things even, God waits, longing for us to simply be still and know Him.
Our relationship with God reminds me of two characters in one of my very favorite Jane Austen stories, Sense and Sensibility.
The first character is Colonel Brandon. Colonel Brandon was a gentleman of great worth and respectability. He was sensible, humble, steady and upright, and known by many as the kindest and best of men. And he loved a young woman named Marianne Dashwood.
Marianne, on the other hand, while appreciating the colonel’s kindness toward her, found herself so distracted when he spoke. She couldn’t help looking over her shoulders to see if there was something, anything, else she should or could be doing. Sometimes she avoided him altogether.
Then, one day a dashing young man by the name of Willoughby swept into her life. He was attractive, had a sharp wit and was adventurous; and she was completely smitten by him.
Poor Brandon could only watch painstakingly from the sidelines as Willoughby whirled Marianne around the ballroom floor, nestled a bit too closely to her in private conversation, or precariously charged her across the English countryside in his horse and carriage.
Colonel Brandon could see what Marianne could not or would not. For all his diversions, Willoughby’s attentions to Marianne were fickle and would one day leave her wanting and wishing she had done things differently.
Like Marianne, we, too, are easily diverted. We get so caught up in the whirl of life. Slowing down is something some of us even try to avoid. And when we finally do slow down and get a little time to ourselves, we fill that time by shopping, going to the gym, meeting friends for coffee, taking in a movie or reading a book. Not that any of those things are wrong; I love to shop, watch movies and read books with the best of them, but, it seems that we are constantly looking over our shoulders to see if there is something, anything, that we should or could be doing. Time spent alone with God is often relegated to wherever we can fit him in, which is often minimal at best.
All the while, as we rush and race our way through life, the Savior painstakingly watches and waits, knowing that all of those diversions that keep us from truly meeting with him will one day leave us wanting...wishing we had done things differently.
Let's not allow that to be the ending of our love story. Let's give God our heart...our whole heart.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart...with all of your being.
Beautiful! I have not heard of our hurry up world described as the hurry sickness but it is so true. In our busyness and our schedules, we need to stop and put God first on our calendars and everything second. Blessings, Mary!
Visiting you from Ann's 1000gifts link up!654
It's not easy to do, is it Mary? But, think of all the precious conversations we miss with God when we don't still ourselves long enough to listen for His still small voice!