When Hurry Steals the Present

All day long I have had the word ‘presently’ going through my mind.  I’m sure it has everything to do with the fact that I have been reading different books about Dallas Willard, an amazing man, who recently stepped from this life into eternity.  The thing that people have said about him over and over again, is that he was ‘always present,’  and ‘never hurried.’ I began thinking about this.  This seems like such a small thing, but when it is said over and over you have to take note and when you hear it over and over in your mind you have to assume it is meant for you.

As I’ve been thinking about this word, I’ve noticed something.  This is how I want to be remembered, but it is not where I live.  I live in tomorrow, or in the next hour or in yesterday or in the next ten minutes.  But this exact minute?  I have a hard time because I’m thinking about the next thing and if it’s not in my plan, don’t get in my way.

About two years ago, I physically cleared more of my schedule so that I could have more time. God knew I was hiding behind busyness and the much needed heart healing that He needed to do could not be done when I had so much going on. So much of my identity was wrapped up in what I was doing, I couldn’t see His heart for me. I am learning something though. Clearing my schedule of clutter has helped immensely, but it hasn’t necessarily helped my ATTITUDE of hurry.  Unfortunately, my life was not only plagued with busyness and hurry without, but also within. It’s me.

I notice this especially in conversations.  I feel the need to be doing something while talking with people. I’ve noticed my children start speaking quickly – as if they have to keep me before I bolt away to do something ‘more important.’  When I sit I become fidgety.  When I drive, I’m frusterated that the person in front of me won’t move, is going too slow and why in the world do I always get behind the large load dump truck?  I am always in a hurry even if I have nowhere urgent to be. I am learning that when you are a hurried person, you carry hurry with you wherever you go.

A hurried attitude reveals a soul that is not at rest.  I am afraid that perhaps my hurriedness reveals a deeper unrest that God needs to deal with.  A need to achieve?  Maybe.  A need to prove my worth?  Possibly.  A fear of God going deeper into those carefully protected places that need His hand of healing?  Probably.  A loneliness that being in a hurry masks so readily?  Could be.  A search for the significance of a meaningful life as if hurry is the mark of true importance? Maybe.  A mere habit of being in a hurry? Probably partly. Hurry has become a badge of honor in our culture, but what if constant hurry is not honorable at all, but actually the a sign of a bankrupt soul or simply a heart that is in the habit of hurry?

All I know is that when I read the many things written about Dallas and notice that every single person comments on his unhurried life, something in me knows that that is what I desperately want.  His lack of hurry is what impacted people.  People experienced God because Dallas was unhurried.  He had right words at right times and had time for the broken, the hurting and the questioning.  He thought before he spoke, waiting for God to give him the right words.  Hurried people don’t have time for that.  I want the stillness that comes from complete trust in the One who holds our lives.  I want the gentleness that comes from being secure in Him.  A hurried person is rarely gentle.  All you have to do is stand in a Walmart checkout line to know this or peek into a home on a Sunday morning before church. Hurry does not allow us to see the important things in our life or to grasp the important moments that come to us in the day.

Let’s let go of the hurry that steals true living – walking in wholeness, hearing God’s gentle whispers, being present in the day with those around us, enjoying the life we have now and bringing His life to those we encounter.

Father, Show me where there is hurry and busyness in my life that doesn’t need to be there. I choose to quit hiding behind my busyness and all that I do and allow You to do what You want to in me. Where I am fearful and have been hiding, show me Your love and grace. Where I have picked up tasks that You have not asked me to, give me the grace to lay those down. Where I have overlooked the things that You have asked of me, help me to pick those up. Most of all, I want what You desire for my life and I know that my hurried life keeps me from the life that You desire for me. Give me eyes to see what You see as important and ears to hear what You are saying. Thank You that Your plan for me is more grand than any that I could ever come up with. It may not look exciting or it may, but You know better than me what is important in my day. I give my days to You – the One Who holds my life and has had a plan for my days since the beginning of time.


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