Sunday, June 16, 2019

Spiritual Disciplines of a Leader: Eliminating Hurry

This is part 2 of our summer series, The Spiritual Disciplines of a Leader. 

Have you ever felt like you keep saying "I don't have enough time?" Me too.

I was reading The Blue Book where Jim Branch records a conversation between Dallas Willard and John Ortberg that rocked me.

“Not long after moving to Chicago, I called a wise friend to ask for some spiritual direction. I described the pace of life in my current ministry. The church where I serve tends to move at a fast clip. I also told him about our rhythms of family life: we are in the van-driving, soccer-league, piano-lesson, school-orientation-night years. I told him about the present condition of my heart, as best I could discern it. What did I need to do, I asked him, to be spiritually healthy?
Long pause.
‘You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life,’ he said at last.
Another long pause.
‘Okay, I've written that one down,’ I told him, a little impatiently. ‘That's a good one. Now, what else is there?’ I had many things to do, and this was a long-distance call, so I was anxious to cram as many units of spiritual wisdom into the least amount of time possible. Another long pause.
‘There is nothing else,’ he said. ‘You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.’”
The idea of ruthlessly eliminating hurry from my life was more than just a good thought; I wanted to actually try it. So I did.

I cut out “I don’t have time for _____” from my thinking. When it popped up, I would counter with “All I have is time.” Time is the best gift we have, and we can’t take it for granted. Little shifts in our everyday thinking can lead to bigger changes than we expect!

I practiced ruthlessly eliminating hurry, but I still needed more to help me be a healthy person. I needed other spiritual disciplines that could help me stay grounded and hopeful in the highs, lows, and everyday life.

Hurry was eliminated, but I found myself juggling a full-time job, full-time graduate school, and being a Young Life leader. And man, was I exhausted! I could check out and watch a movie or sleep in on weekends, but nothing helped me feel truly rested. I was burned out, emotionally and spiritually.

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 (The Message)
Jesus invites us to take time to get away, to recover, to take a real rest. Unforced rhythms of grace? Living freely and lightly? I want that!

If you feel the same way, you’ll want to check back here as we give you a few resources on building a “spiritual toolbox” with different practices to help us connect with God and each other in deeper ways.

Want to put this into practice right away? 
Start noticing when you feel rushed or overwhelmed in life. Eliminate that sense of hurry, and ask God to help you focus on the person or situation in front of you.

What spiritual practices are helping you or healing you right now? Leave a comment below or email us here.

Written by Camber McKenzie.

Camber McKenzie is a volunteer Young Life leader in Steamboat Springs, CO, and has an MBA from Regent University. She gets excited about books, impromptu dance parties, and doing anything outdoors.

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