Recently I read an article written by a Frank Powell for Church Leaders magazine, and in it he listed seven spiritual consequences of living a hurried, busy life. The article was a perfect reminder for all of us as we enter into the Lenten Season and our theme: Busy: Reconnecting with an Unhurried God.
Here are some of the findings from Powell's article:
In 1967, experts on time management delivered a report to the U.S. Senate.These experts believed the speed of technology, satellites and robotics would present a big problem for the American workplace in the years to come. The problem? People would have too much free time. Here's what they concluded:
By 1985, people might have to choose between working 22 hours a week, 27 weeks a year or retiring at age 38.
Fast forward to today. For those of you who are still working, how is that extra free time working for you? Are you getting so "bored out of your mind" that you wish for the "good old days?"
Suffice to say, we are moving faster than ever. Powell says we are "addicted to speed, obsessed with hurry." He calls this "hurry sickness." We might use the slang word, "crazy busy."
Hurry sickness is defined as "a continuous struggle to accomplish more things and participate in more events in less time, frequently in the face of opposition, real or imagined, from other people."
Do you find yourself standing in the "Express Line" at the grocery store with the required eleven items or less while looking in the person's cart in front of you counting to see if they have more items than the allotted amount? Do you honk your horn when the person in the car in front of you does not respond to the green light in a "nano second?" Do you get irritated when your "fast food" isn't all that fast? If so, you might be suffering from "hurry sickness."
Now you may not be that person described above, but I believe we all could agree that it appears the pace of life in our culture is out of control. And when we enter the time of Lent it becomes obvious that we struggle with the tension between our fast-paced lives and the life of Jesus that was never rushed. I suppose it is because Jesus moved at God's pace.
Powell suggests that "culture's obsession with busyness and hurriedness isn't just a scheduling problem. It's a heart problem. It's time to consider what a hurried life is costing us...And, make no mistake, the cost is enormous."
Next week I will begin sharing the seven spiritual consequences of a hurried life in my article. I hope you will take the time to read them, but also to take the time to address them if it is something you might need to address during the Lenten Season.
As well, I hope you will take every opportunity to disconnect from busyness and reconnect with our unhurried God.
This Sunday's message is The Right Tempo. We will be looking at Jesus' words in Matthew 11:28-30 where he invites us to "leave our burdens" with him.