Yesterday morning, John shared this story with me: When Dallas Willard was asked by a friend, "How do I best teach people about Jesus?" Willard thought, then replied, "You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life."
Of all the things he could have said, he responded with that? Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life? I told John that it sounded really interesting and I’d like to hear more about it but I was in a hurry.
I was making a joke, but we both knew I was also telling the truth. I had so much to do that I sped from the room to attack the many requirements presenting themselves for my immediate attention. Ruthlessly eliminate hurry? Oh man. I feel so busted.
This has been an extremely full season. A full year, really. Lots of change. Lots of good activities, meetings, work, ministry, life. And I have been running. Haven’t you? Aren’t we all running? We are. We are running a marathon.
Hebrews 12:1 “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Other versions say, “Let us run with patience” or “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
1 Corinthians 9:24 says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
We want to run well. Live well. Love well. Finish well. So in order to do that, we need to rest. To keep running, we have to stop running.
All you athletes out there know that runners need rest days to recover and repair muscles in order to get stronger. Runner's World says, “It is important to realize rest days are when improvements are actually made as opposed to during the days when the runner is training.” Who knew?
I can feel lazy or self-indulgent when I actually do nothing. Schedule nothing. Say no to events, appointments, gatherings in order to...simply care for my own heart and body by choosing to rest. But I need it. We all need it. Intentionally resting is vital for all of us.
Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10) It’s when I slow down and stop that I become more aware of God’s loving presence. That’s when I become aware of my own breathing, even aware of how tired I am. When I am still, I step back from my hurry and step into the timelessness of our King’s merciful and restorative embrace.
I’m choosing to rest more these days. And I’m not waiting for my official vacation to begin. I’m going to practice it even today. I don’t want to hurry. I don’t want to rush blindly by, forging ahead in the daily rigors of my life and miss my heart. Miss beauty. Miss others. Miss Jesus.
I don’t know if I can ruthlessly eliminate hurry from my life. But for today, well, today, with the help of Christ, I think I can. Maybe, just maybe, with his help, we all can.
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)