Unhurried

“Is a day without achievement a day well-lived?”

The question makes me uncomfortable. I don’t mind swapping the workplace for the home, but I’ve got lists of things to do in each place. And the more I’ve checked off my list, the better I feel. “It’s been a good day.”

UnhurriedEver feel that way? Busyness seems to give meaning and purpose to my life. Busyness makes me feel needed and valuable. Busyness — racing from meeting to meeting, or from person to person, or from task to task — says I am organized and significant. But this can be like cancer to the inner life.

Spiritual directors throughout the ages have declared that when we abide most deeply and richly in Christ, then our lives look and feel unhurried. Interestingly, nobody in the Gospels ever said of Jesus that he was hurried or busy. Perhaps he would have seen that as something less than a badge of honor, while we might consider it a great compliment. Instead, he stopped, listened, withdrew, paid attention, got engaged in the interruptions … and trusted the leading of his Father.

“Is a day without achievement a day well-lived?”

Perhaps we might also ask the corollary questions: “How do we learn to be with God, when we’re not great at being with anyone?” Or perhaps “Am I in the business of Jesus, or abiding in Jesus?”

Unhurried does not describe how I spend hours or minutes. It describes a state of heart. Unhurried comes not from forced breaks, but from chosen stillness. Unhurried is not what happens when I’m not busy, but a commitment to manage and view busyness differently.

If today took an unexpected turn, if your lists remained untouched, if you couldn’t be “productive,” would you be unhurried or stressed?

The unhurried living Christ invites us to abide in him, to walk with him, to embrace his leading and his way, to find rest and hope and purpose and significance in him. You may be facing a full day, but busyness is a state of the heart (as much as hurry is). Live into the fullness, but not into the busyness. As we become less hurried, our days will be better-lived…and more.

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18 Responses to Unhurried

  1. Hi David. I’m new to your blog but I enjoyed this post. I’ve had quite a stressful day so it really spoke to me. God bless you and thank you!

  2. Daniel Gluck says:

    Wonderful post David! Too often, we judge a person’s value by how “busy” they are. A good reminder today!

  3. Tim Ross says:

    Today was very busy for me at work. I literally was running from meeting to meeting in different buildings. This is actually fun for me considering I could not do any of that last year. But I did have time for some personal interactions giving people my time, attention, and my heart. Those times are the best times of the day.

    • David Timms says:

      Tim, great to hear you are back at work. Yes, what a contrast to last year! You are remarkable in the way you give yourself to others. I miss you. Blessings, my friend.

  4. Heide Costa says:

    Amen 🙏🏼

  5. Busyness means we miss out on the best bits of life. I dislike being too busy to enjoy life. I’m getting better at saying no these days though!

    • David Timms says:

      I totally agree. If busyness is as much a state of mind as unhurriedness, then we do indeed risk missing “the best bits of life.” And “no” is necessary at times. 🙂

    • Heide Costa says:

      David, this post really did make me pause & contemplate…
      I was a very busy person, I owned 3 construction companies, ran crews on each site, & then for fun worked as a waitress at night, as well as my rock climbing & working out routines, & I sang for a company for children’s birthday parties which was a joy!!! All of these activities were very fulfilling & joyful, & I found much “qualifying” & was really convinced I was reaching God’s children with His good news, but I spent more time with ‘them’ than with Him… 🎚🎚🎚🎚🎚
      As you know, I had a disabling car accident… I know longer have the ability to “run” from my problems or “run” for enjoyment ~ and I remember praying several months before my accident that I could spend “more time with You Lord”! 😳😝
      To schedule time with Him, to slow down & “smell the roses”, & find that you are just as ‘loved’, just as ‘important’ to the Lord, without the “busyness” & constant work & volunteering, has turned in to an unexpected blessing… To realize God loves me the same broke as rich… That He seems to appreciate me spending time with Him so much more than the “approval” I felt from volunteering…
      I’ve become “unhurried” by becoming disabled, but I can say – the joy of being in His presence more, being able to spend more time in His Word & next to His heart, is a precious gift…
      Going to WJU was such a blessing & gift to me, but as my diseases became worse – it was hard to take at first, & yes, I’ve had healings from JoAnne & Lance praying over me (& a few times praying over myself in my bed) & I kept expecting (& still wait for His will to be done 🙏🏼) to be healed more – but I’ve grown Professor, to learn to relish the gift of the ‘unhurried’ time with Him & time I have to pray & ‘Be There’ for so many others…
      Before my car accident, much of my value was wrapped up in how much I could accomplish (even when meaning for The Kingdom), But now, my value is wrapped up in how faithful I am to the Lords directives to me personally, as well as what He has told me ‘to do’ in His Word…
      This is a blessed, anointed post my dear friend/mentor/professor…
      Thank you 🙏🏼🎚🙏🏼🎚

      • David Timms says:

        Heide, thanks for the inspiring response!! May His Presence continue to sustain you in peace and unhurriedness.

      • Heide Costa says:

        Dr. Timms, I must admit it is very challenging (as you know ~ & Thank you for being there for mom & I when dad died – she & I will never forget your kindness, taking an “unhurried” moment in your busy day, to pray with us, & give my mom some advice with your own experiences – she brings that kindness up several times a year 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 TY!) to “deal” with these diseases & infirmities, so just to ‘keep it real’ it’s not always easy to catch the “blessing in the thorn”…
        I love these posts during Lent, & thank you for your wise words… 🙏🏼

  6. Dick and Doris says:

    Excellent writing and advice… I am experiencing a new way to look at life. My wife recently announced that she is “Overwhelmed” with everything… and wants to do NOTHING ! We are getting tests on brain function and will probably end up in counseling … Meanwhile, I have dropped all my plans and I am now doing all the grocery shopping, cooking, dishes, some cleaning as well as meeting with kids to arrange for her care if something happened to me. Something did… I got severely hurt and I am in PT several times per week… _*I have to live and provide…*_ I’m 75 and Doris is 80… Physically she is in much better shape than I, but you never know… So NOW I am learning to adjust… I feel some tension, but as your writing suggested, it’s how you lean into “Rest” in Christ… Not how you scratch off items on the list. My list, (I am certain) is sexually active at night. I just get one complete and another is born…

    Thanks for your encouragement. Dick and Doris

    • David Timms says:

      Dick, these life-changes (and injuries) are no small thing. But you are correct. It’s ultimately about how we abide in (rest in) Christ that makes the difference. A changed perspective produces peace when Jesus is at the center of it. Blessings, my friend.

  7. Karen Luethke says:

    Excellent thoughts! You reminded me of a book I read many years ago that helped me with understanding this truth about God’s priorities for my life. It is called, The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence and is one of those books that must be read slowly and given thought. I may reread it this spring. Thanks for this reminder, and have a blessed day.

  8. lizsykes says:

    Thanks David,
    Always appreciate your introductory teaser on the C of C online newsletter. This piece is exceptional. Liz and I are retired after actively serving together in pastoral ministry for over 35 years. While we did learn to rest in Jesus during our ministry by making scheduled time out spots, attempting to escape the pressure of the ever present things to be done, retirement is another matter altogether. We are probably just as involved and concerned for the Lord’s work and people but we don’t have to go off to work each day. We can decide together how and when we will respond to the demands on our lives.
    Also, early in ministry I/we would jump immediately and respond to crises that were happening in people’s lives, particularly drug affected and emotionally or psychologically unwell people. We learned to trust Jesus more for satisfactory outcomes rather than trying to make something more positive happen immediately. Otherwise we would never have survived the 35 years of ministering to the one congregation.
    Our top priority now is to be fully present and available for our children and grandchildren so that we can build memorable God moments into their lives. We can only do this by living unhurried, uncluttered, restful lives in Jesus. Thank you again for your thoughtful and insightful post.

    • David Timms says:

      Trevor, thanks for the note. Sounds like you’ve been working out this “unhurried” mindset for some time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing part of your story. Very encouraging. Blessings as you continue to build those “memorable God moments”! So important and valuable.

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