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?

facing our fears

fear What do you fear?

I don’t know about you, but fear has become much more prevalent topic these days than I would like. Terrorism, prejudice-based killings, violent home break-ins, unstable economies, future leader elections, terminal diseases… all invade our media channels and sometimes our personal lives.

My daughter’s university has had two bomb scares in the last few weeks. How can I help her deal with the unavoidable worry and concern that accompanies her days and haunts her nights?

How can I admit my fears but not let them control me?

I know that there are basic common sense choices I can implement – stay away from obvious dangerous surroundings, set up safety precautions, save money and invest wisely, make informed decisions, and proactively protect my health.

However, those actions will never completely protect me from the evil, brokenness, and pain of this world.

That reality causes fear. But fear, rather than control me, can offer an opportunity for reflection, a chance to consider the worst case scenario… what if I am going to die tomorrow? Am I ready?

Am I at peace with my present? 

Am I living each day to the fullest? Or would I have regrets if it were to all end tomorrow? Do I let petty issues make me angry, frustrated, discouraged? Do I have unresolved conflict with someone I love? Have I followed my dreams, given my all, lived by my priorities? Have I spoken my appreciation? Have I hugged and laughed and cried?

Am I at peace with my future? 

Do I know where I will go when I die? Am I certain or doubtful?  Am I still trying to earn my way to heaven? Does the thought of life’s end give me hope or dread? Do I avoid thinking about that topic altogether? Am I at peace with God?

peace-heart

If I don’t have peace with both my present and my future, what do I need to change? What do I need to do differently with my life?

Once I have it, no person, place, or philosophy can rob me of that peace.

How do you get past your fears? How do you find peace?


Here’s a good article about Peace of Mind in an Unstable World.