Howard Hendricks once commented that we live our lives in such a tight spiral that we honk at our own taillights! That is an apt description of our times. When our grandparents missed the stage, they knew that there would be another one next month. I have literally noticed people who are upset because they missed one section of a revolving door! This mindset carries over from travel to the totality of our lives. A father’s day is too crowded to have breakfast with his children. When he comes home late from work, as is often the case, he hurries off to other activities. He leaves undone that which he should have done. Hurry has claimed that which is urgent rather than that which is important. Many families pass a “genetic” code of hurrying on to their children. Music lessons, baseball, volleyball, soccer, and dance lessons are all introduced to our children at an early age, commanding evenings and weekends. They learn, like their parents, to hurry from one thing to the next. There is little family time and limited meaningful interaction with the parents. Time with the Lord is often left out altogether. There is no daily spiritual interaction between parents and children. The parents send their children to church or enroll them in a Christian school, hoping that those measures will suffice. In fact, it results in a colossal failure.
The causes of a hurried lifestyle are multiple. We may simply be doing the wrong thing. Once we are involved in an activity that takes our time it may be hard to stop. There may be pressure from others to continue an activity or relationship. Even knowing that what we are doing is wrong, there may be enough satisfaction or enjoyment that we continue anyway. More commonly, we are involved in too many activities, hobbies or relationships and have no margin in our lives. We have replaced that which is essential in our lives for that which we should eliminate or delegate. The root cause for hurry, in most cases, is trying to take care of our own lives and manage them ourselves. We are not designed to do this. We do not have the capacity to control ourselves. Only the Lord can do this. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The results of hurry in our lives are familiar to us all. Mistakes are made in judgment. We are often frustrated, anxious and commonly irritated with others. Those, who, with an agenda involving spiritual growth and activity, try to hurry things along in that realm may find themselves irritated with God. Their efforts only serve to delay the work of God in their own lives as well as in the lives of others. Abraham decided to hurry God’s agenda along by having a son with Hagar. History amply tells the story of how Ishmael and his descendants have hindered the work of the Lord. Likewise Moses, in his attempts to hurry God’s timing, led to his herding sheep for another forty years before he was of use to the Lord.
To hurry the work of God in our lives and others is to be out of step with God. When we try to “help Him out” we are taking over God’s work from Him. Hurry is wanting our agenda, not His. It is wanting to be in charge ourselves. It is wanting control. Hurry reflects our impatience with God. It results in impatience with others as well. Hurry accuses God of mismanagement. It is an affront to His character. Hurry looks to ourselves and is a reliance on self. When we live a hurried lifestyle, self is asserting its own authority. Hurry must die, because self must die.
It is the Lord’s work to prepare us for eternity, not our own work. He works from eternity for eternity. He is never in a hurry. Our hurry focuses on events, situations, and circumstances. His work focuses on character. Only He knows how far we have to go, what is needed, how long it will take, and how to get there. We will never get rid of hurry by trying to get rid of hurry. We must get at the root cause. Hurry is but a symptom, a symptom of lack of trust in God, which comes from a lack of knowledge of God. To know Him is to trust Him. Jesus is the only person who was never in a hurry. Why was this? He was the only person who knew God perfectly. To know Him perfectly is to trust Him perfectly. We are given by virtue of the resurrection, the life of the One who never needed to hurry. This is because He had perfect trust in God to control each aspect of His life. It is through immersion of our life with His that we are willing to surrender to His love and turn over the control of our lives to Him. There is no longer any need for hurry for those who trust Him fully.