It’s fairly obvious that peace is incompatible with hurry.
If you don’t believe me, next time you’re running late to “catch” a flight, or ten minutes late for an appointment, or overdue on an assignment, take an interior inventory and see if you feel the deep shalom of God in your soul. Do you sense a grounded, present sense of calm? Or something else?
And yet: we continue to cram more and more in to our already overfull lives, forcing us to speed up to a frenetic pace, and rarely slow down long enough to experience God’s peace. Of course, not all busyness is bad. There’s a kind of busyness that means you’re not wasting your precious life on trivial things. The problem isn’t having a lot to do, it’s having too much to do, where the only way to cram it all in is to kick into hurry gear, and as a tragic result, slip out of love, joy, and peace.
In our culture slow is a pejorative. When somebody has low IQ, we dub them slow. When the service at a restaurant is lousy, we call it slow. When a movie is boring, again, we complain that it’s slow. Case in point, Merriam-Webster: “mentally dull: stupid: naturally inert or sluggish: lacking in readiness, promptness, or willingness.”
The message is clear: slow is bad, fast is good.
But in the upside-down kingdom, our value system is turned on its head: hurry is of the devil; slow is of Jesus, because Jesus is what love, joy and peace look like in flesh and blood.
Exercise for the day: A moment of quiet
Take a few minutes – ideally at the beginning of your day, or whenever works best for you – and simply do nothing. Just be. Stand in silent love before God. Sit there long enough for the peace of his Spirit to well up inside your body. Thank him for it.
Reading question: When I enter a room, do I bring with me a spirit of peace, or anxiety?
And that’s the memo.
By John Mark Comer from The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry