Friday, June 13, 2014

The Hurry Curse

I recently read John Ortberg's book, Soul Keeping.  I had never read a book about how to keep my soul.  While Jesus makes a big deal about one's soul, we find very little about it in Christian literature.  Jesus did ask, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"

It seems like we have plenty of help in keeping our habits, keeping our money, and keeping our doctrine pure.  But none of these has any value if we don't keep our souls.

I have a habit of hurried thinking.  My dad was that way.  He died 13 years ago, but he always seemed to be in a hurry.  Even in his years of retirement, he kept himself and his family poised for the next thing.  I remember rushing through meals and walking fast. He was an industrial engineer, so he was always looking for efficiency.  But efficiency must have a higher purpose.  Why do we want to do things faster?  For what are we saving time?  What is the value of moving on to the next hurried task?

I have inherited that mindset.  I hate the agony of time to relax, when I feel like I should be doing something.  Being productive makes me feel worthy.  If I am being still, I am unworthy.  That feels worse than being hurried.

Ortberg, calling on the late Dallas Willard, notes the difference between being busy and being hurried.  We can be busy, keeping a full schedule, without being hurried.  One can keep a long list of appointments without being hurried.  It is a mindset.

Hurry says that I'm in control, and that means trouble.  I work harder, get frenzied, and work poorly.  Busy (ideally) recognizes that God is in control, and that means everything is all right.  I trust God to take care of all my oversights and shortcomings.  Hurry is walking by sight.  Busy is walking by faith.

Many times a day now, I catch myself with the hurry mindset.  It steals my peace and limits the depth of my thinking.  It wears me out, and leaves me feeling guilty that I have not accomplished more.

But Jesus bids me come to him and find rest for my soul.  His yoke is easy and his burden is light. I can choose joy and peace as I handle my responsibilities.  Then my mind and soul are free to work.  That is living apart from the hurry curse.  Only through Jesus can I find that power through freedom.

Hurry keeps my soul ruffled.  Jesus gives me rest for my soul.