Do you live a Hurried or Busy Life?

“For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.” 2 Thessalonians 3:11

In The Life we have always Wanted, John Ortberg tells us “we must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives.” I love/hate that phrase because it sounds like more work for my schedule. But having just finished my venti latte with an extra shot of caffeine, I have been wondering do I live a hurried life or a busy life?

A hurried life is one in which we abruptly and rashly run from activity and event without being fully present. A hurried life gets frustrated when at the stoplight the Infinity we’ve chosen to get behind goes slower off the line than the Honda Odyssey. A hurried mind wonders who just caused the SmartPhone to chirp with a text, tweet or email, while holding a conversation with a real person.

A busy life, however, is one lived with intentional focus upon what God has designed us to do. It causes our feet to hit the floor before the alarm goes off with a focused objective. We move with an awareness and alterness that “this is the day that the Lord has made,” and we are not idle but working hard for Him (Col 3:23). A busy life wastes no extra movement but focuses our energy for a specific task.

We are called by God to be busy, but not to be hurried.

The hebrew word for “hurried” is mahar which means to “be impetuous, rash, quick or swept away.” It is an exhausting existence and one that leaves us fatigued and with our legs swept from under us. It is one that we need to work to ruthlessly eliminate.

Lewis Grant provides these markers for a hurried life:

  • you find yourself rushing even when there’s no reason to
  • you set up mock races (‘Ok, kids, lets see who can take a bath faster’) that are really about your need to get through it.
  • you indulge in self-destructive escapes from fatigue: abusing alcohol, watching too much TV, [refreshing Facebook timelines, reading blogs.]
  • So are you living a hurried or busy life? How can you ruthlessly eliminate the hurry from your life today?

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