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From hurried to hopeful

You were not rescued from the darkness of death to live life hurried and consumed.

Dear Hurried Heart,

I know the deadlines loom, the kids need to get to the playdate, and you have chores at home both inside and outside. I know the to-do list never gets any shorter. Between workouts, inboxes, coordinated calendars, work dinners, and late-night homework scrambles, it feels like you can’t do one more thing. Even your weekends and summers are full of projects and tournaments. It’s no wonder your heart is full of hurry and worry. I see you, Hurried Heart, because I am you.

I’ve heard the pastor finish our worship service with “The Lord . . . give you peace” and wondered how I can have peace with so much on my plate. I’ve heard the gospel proclaimed where Jesus declares, “It is finished!” and rolled my eyes thinking, “Yeah, but I’ve got so much to do!”

But can I tell you, dear Hurried Heart, that there is another way? Take it from a recovering hurryaholic. The invitation is right there, in those words we cling to so dearly: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. . . . For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29,30). Can I comfort you by saying that you were not rescued from the darkness of death to live life hurried and consumed? Jesus came so that you can have life and have it to the full. Don’t confuse a full calendar and a full life.

Pause with me. Push back the hurry and simply be with our Father who loves us. Here are some lessons I’ve learned in wanting just to be with Jesus.

  • Carve out time. Start with 30 seconds after getting home where you just sit in silence or prayer—radio off, car off—and imagine giving everything you’ve carried all day to Jesus. Walk into the rest of the day a little bit lighter. Build up to 10 minutes before the routine of the day begins or at lunch and read one psalm. Maybe read it more than once. Pick one at random; they’re all good. Jesus is waiting on the other side, ready to show you something about how amazing he is.
  • Focus on being before doing. A checklist is a beautiful thing. I have three of them open as I write to you. But a checklist is about doing and done. Not about being. Be with Jesus. Whether that’s four words or four chapters, the amount isn’t the point. Presence is. Make time with God more than a task simply to be accomplished.
  • Be slow to apply. A friend of mine loves Rembrandt’s painting Return of the Prodigal Son. She loves it for the window it gives her into the heart of God. The painting points her to that parable that shows her a God whom she loves for his own sake, not for what he can do for her. Getting to that point takes practice. Fall in love with Jesus for his own sake. For his beauty, for his splendor, for his majesty. He is the beginning and the end. “What do I get out of it?” is a good second question. “Who is he? What is he like?” Now those are good first questions. Be slow to move from your first question to your second.

Give yourself time and grace as you go from hurried to peace-filled. Keep taking Jesus up on his offer to share his yoke. Maybe, as we carve out time, focus on being, and apply slowly, we can together go from Hurried Heart to Hopeful Heart.

In peace,

A Recovering Hurryaholic

Author: Benjamin Workentine
Volume 110, Number 07
Issue: July 2023

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