getting to the heart of the matter

A friend asked me about unhurried living the other day. Every time someone asks me to give advice or talk about unhurried living, I chuckle inside at God’s ironic sense of humor in choosing me as a spokesperson for this topic.

I am also very grateful, because each time I write or think about unhurried living, it reminds me how important – and necessary – these truths are for my life. Living in an unhurried way is a constant struggle for me. Not only can I easily over-fill my schedule, but I also regularly over-pressure my heart.

“Hurry is not just a disordered schedule.
Hurry is a disordered heart.”

–John Ortberg

Down deep, there are reasons why we hurry. Empty places in our heart cause us to feel that a busy, full, hurried life will make us more valuable, more important, or more useful to others. We hope that our frantic pace will gain us a sense of belonging, acceptance, or goodness in the eyes of those around us. Or the continual busyness ensures that we never have time to sit still and feel the weight of our loneliness, our fears, or our pain.

I believe that we will never truly experience the peace of an unhurried life if we do not face the deeper heart issues that drive our frenetic pace. 

Which of these may cause you to hurry?

  • HABIT | Rushing is your M.O.
  • WORTH | When you are in a constant state of urgency, you feel valuable.
  • GUILT | You feel bad when you slow down or if you are not doing something.
  • FEAR | You are afraid of being still and facing your disappointments.
  • PRESSURE | You feel the need to perform to earn love and prove yourself.
  • COMPETITION | You sense if you slow down, others will move ahead of you.
  • CONTROL | You think that you have to do everything or life will fall apart.
  • FOMO | You fear you will miss opportunities by slowing down.
  • You’re truly BUSY and need some help.

I relate to a number of the issues on this list. In the past, pride was clearly the culprit. I also have the guilt voice in my head from some of my upbringing influences. Recently, I have also seen FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) push me to always want to do more.

We all have reasons that compel us. If you can recognize and name some of what causes you to hurry, you will have taken the first step to overcoming that driver. As you face the truth – without shame or self-contempt – you will also be moving towards healing. You will find new strength and power to make life-changing choices that unhurry, not just your schedule, but also your heart.

This is not a quick, easy fix of course! We can not hurry growth like that. However, taking time for this reflection may help you take the most important steps on your journey to unhurried living. 

What causes you to hurry?

Where is your white space?

Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

Henry Cloud is one of my favorite teachers and authors. I began reading his books many years ago, and I now grab every new one he publishes as soon as it comes out. I have written a few summaries of his books on this blog (see links below). Now that I think about it, I may write some more this year!

Recently, I read a short post by Henry Cloud on the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) blog (which is a great blog, by the way!). Henry was talking about the importance of having WHITE SPACE (or rest) in our life.

too much stuff + too long = overwhelmed and tired brain

Henry was endorsing the valuable research and work done by a woman named Juliet Funt. Juliet spoke at the GLS, and you can find some excellent short video clips of her ideas on YouTube. Her company, WhiteSpaceAtWork.com, helps organizations reduce their busyness, schedules and digital habits so that people can be more engaged and creative at home and at work.

Research has shown that the highest performers in life
have a pattern of not being “on all the time.”

Henry Cloud

Juliet shares some great tips for protecting the WHITE SPACE in our schedules:

  • Take some thoughtful time and inventory your motives for saying yes.
  • Try to separate the emotional (the enjoyment of being asked) from the practical (will this opportunity truly move your goals forward?).
  • Attempt to mentally envision and realistically consider all of the inevitable to-dos and busyness of the time around the date of the request.
  • Make “No” your default answer. Let “less” be your guiding principle. You will  never regret having too much time.

Which of these tips could you apply in the next few days to find some WHITE SPACE in your week?


Henry Cloud book summaries: Integrity  •  Necessary Endings