I sometimes have the privilege of speaking into the lives of a few precious young women through my church. They are beautiful inside and out, and I count it a huge blessing that they care to hear about anything I have to say about anything. They are just starting out in life, the world seems just so big, and the future seems so unclear. I remember what that feels like. They are in a hurry for the life they dream of to begin. So many choices, so little time.
What I usually feel compelled to tell them is to slow down. We rush here, hurry there. We run late while trying to arrive early. It’s all so very stressful.
Last summer I used a leadership book by Linda Clark with a small group of young women leaders, and one of the best points in the entire book, it alone being worth the price of the book, was this:
“Important things aren’t urgent. Urgent things aren’t important.”
Let that one sink in for a second. Read it again. Go ahead. I’ll wait…
Now this is not across the board true… few quotes are. But generally speaking, it is quite true.
Another quote I have recently stumbled upon is from professor/author Dallas Willard. He said,
“Relentlessly remove hurry from your life.”
This is harder than you might think. I made that quote one of my New Year’s resolutions. I’ve broken it already several times and it’s still January. We live in a society that values hurry. We feel super lazy if someone asks how we are and we don’t say, “So busy!” or “Running like crazy today!” When was the last time you were able to say, “I have absolutely nothing planned for today”, and you didn’t feel just a tad bit guilty about it?
We are convinced that it is proper and necessary that we fill our days with busyness. Then we wonder why we have such little patience with our children, or our spouses, or peace in our souls. The end of the day comes, and we literally fall into bed exhausted… used up, wrung out, and completely spent!
The Fine Art of Saying No
Many of us have failed in learning the fine art of saying, “No”. Someone asks us to add something else to our already jammed packed schedule, and we cannot find it within our ability to say no. We feel guilty. We tell ourselves that we could squeeze one more thing in if we get up early, go to bed later, or cut something or someone else short. We give in. We commit ourselves to yet
Learning the fine art of saying no is truly a skill. The Bible tells us to let our yes mean yes and our no mean no. It does not say that with our no must come explanation ad nauseam. We have to learn how to say no without the associated guilt. Learning to say no puts us back in the driver’s seat with our schedules.
Here’s another quote for you… “Either you manage your schedule, or it manages you.”
The scriptures in the Bible are numerous that speak about waiting. Wait upon the Lord. Again and again it says it. You can do your own search, but I can tell you it never tells you to rush about. The only time you’ll see that you better get a move on is with regard to repentance. Only there will hurrying get you anywhere fast.
Look at the ministry of Jesus. Jesus never ran. He never rushed. He never fretted over his busy schedule. On the contrary, Jesus managed his schedule. He planned for time to rest, pray, and commune with the Father.
I recently had a mentor tell me with regard to ministry, that I could only do it out of my overflow. She meant that I could not do what God was asking of me if I didn’t press in and let him fill my cup to overflowing.
Jesus knew this. The people needed so much from him. He could have decided in his mind that he didn’t have time to spend with his Father. There was just so much to do. So many people needed him. And yet, he insisted on getting away and reconnecting with the Father. If Jesus couldn’t run on empty, why do we think that we can? Are you telling me you are busier that Jesus?
It begins with taking back control and denying the need to hurry. It begins with our willingness to wait upon the Lord. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Slow down. Learn to say no. Manage your schedule so it doesn’t manage you. Plan a day that you have absolutely nothing to do and feel great about it. Plug in to the Father and let him fill your cup to overflowing.
Relentlessly remove hurry from your life.