Jesus set love as the highest value in his kingdom’s economy. When asked what the greatest commandment in all of Scripture was, he responded with “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength,” but he refused to stop at one command; he added another, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
But love is painfully time consuming. All parents know this, as do all lovers, and most long-term friends. There’s no shortcuts. No life-hack. No killer app.
It takes an enormous amount of time to love well.
Love and hurry are oil and water: they simply do not mix. All of my worst moments as a husband and father, a neighbor or friend, are when I’m in a hurry—late for an appointment, behind on my unrealistic to-do list, trying to cram too much into my day. I ooze anger, tension, a critical nagging—the antitheses of love.
If you don’t believe me, next time you’re trying to get your type B wife and three young, easily distracted children out of the house, and you’re running late (a subject on which I have a wealth of experience), just pay attention to how you relate to them. Does it look and feel like love? Or is it far more in the vein of agitation, anger, a biting comment, a rough glare?
It comes as no surprise that in the Apostle Paul’s definition of love, the first descriptor is “patient.”
In Three Mile an Hour God, the late Japanese theologian Kosuke Koyama said it this way:
God walks “slowly” because he is love. If he is not love he would have gone much faster. Love has its speed. It is an inner speed. It is a spiritual speed. It is a different kind of speed from the technological speed to which we are accustomed. It is “slow” yet it is lord over all other speeds since it is the speed of love.
There’s a reason people talk about “walking with God,” not “running with God.” It’s because God is love.
Exercise for the day: Accept the interruptions
Life is full of interruptions; no doubt an interruption will come your way today – a child, or co-worker, or unexpected phone call. Rather than rushing through the interruption, look for ways to un-hurry and be present to the person in love.
Reading question: How do hurry and busyness rob me of the capacity to love?
And that’s the memo.
By John Mark Comer from The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry