Reflecting on Hurry
In several recent posts (Hurry Relating to Christ’s Love & Portrait of the Unhurried Life) I have been struggling to express what God has been teaching me about the hurried life that we all so often fall into. In general I sense that the rate at which we live affects whether we are open to the opportunities that God puts in our path. These opportunities could be to fellowship with Him or to help someone He has brought to us who is in need. Everyday there are people who cross our paths who are desperate for a touch of His Love!
Learn to Listen
Recently Walt wrote me a little teaching about listening that very clearly expressed this. He wrote
Listening is active and full of purpose. It involves the mind, the intent on every spoken and perceived word. It doesn’t wander or flounder or change directions. It aggressively hungers and actively plans procurement (to secure for spiritual growth and use).
So when you spend time with God listen with this intent. Don’t miss His direction and don’t doubt His promises.
Time spent doubting is wasted. Time spent listening with you heart and believing what you hear through the Spirit is abundance.
Listening to Others
First I want to focus on how listening relates to our relationship with others. As Walt wrote, listening is purposeful and it involves the mind. When I am in a hurry – focused on what my agenda is for a given day or moment I can not be actively listening to someone else because my thoughts are too preoccupied with what is going on with me. While someone is talking I could be thinking about what I need to buy at the grocery store, what needs to be cooked for dinner or what work project I have to finish that evening. People want to be heard and we aren’t hearing them if our minds are too busy. Not only do they want to be heard but most are used to not being heard because no one truly listens. I believe that through salvation in Christ – through trust – we as Christians have the supernatural ability to have the mind of Christ – to submit our minds to Him.
- I Corinthians 2:16 “For we have the mind of Christ”
- II Corinthians 10:5 Take captive our thoughts to the obedience of Christ
When I seek Him, asking for Him to clear my hurried life, to bring peace; when I actively reject thoughts of hurry, anxiety and stress; my mind is freed to begin to listen to someone else. Only the power of Christ gives the ability to captivate our thoughts. Humanly in this fallen form I am not able to reject the pressures of hurry and anxiety that bombard my mind.
Everyday I find that I have fallen short of this – that I fail in some way but little by little God does His perfect work in me!
Listening to God
Even in my devotional time I notice my mind wanders because I seem to have a built-in clock that pushes me forward into the day. Often I find that my deepest times of fellowship with God are not during a specific morning devotional time but throughout the day when I find myself anxious, rushed, and concerned with the affairs of life. When this happens sometimes I waste time worrying or doubting as Walt put it. This brings a dark cloud over my thoughts but when I know the promises and cling to them, repeating them over my life I trust in the God who can carry me through. Just this morning I was worried about a business mistake – the worry was taking over but God reminded me of Isaiah 41:10
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Over and over I had to repeat the promise until my heart believes He is in control – only when my heart believes and is focused on Him can I be in a position of listening. The state of hurry in which we live seems to have a continual pressure on our lives, robbing us of peace within for which Christ died to give us, preventing us from listening to others or to Him