I heard a story of a pastor who was experiencing tremendous church growth. However, the pastor realized the joy of this blessing could be stolen if not stewarded well. So, to help ensure he was doing all he could to be a good steward of God’s church and the growth He was sending, he called an old mentor for advice. After sharing his situation, the young pastor waited anxiously for his mentor’s reply. The response however was not what he expected. “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life,” was the counsel offered. The pastor nodded in agreement and waiting expectantly for the more weightier advice he was sure would come, but that was it.
Like the young pastor, we may at first brush aside the weight of this particular counsel, but when we examine the damage hurry has and can have in our life, we realize the value eliminating it holds in our overall success:
Error: When we get in a hurry and rush, we are more prone to make mistakes (Proverbs 19:2). How often has this proved true for each of us? A small example to this is when I get in the kitchen to cook. I’m not sure why, but for some reason, cooking gets me in a rush. I race in prepping each dish and timing it so that each course finishes on time. Inevitably, as I rush, I forget some ingredient, burn something, or don’t cook something else long enough. In time, I have realized my folly and I now literally work to slow myself down. I noticed my daughter shares this trait and I have shared with her the wisdom of slowing down. This is something we can all apply in every area of our life, not just cooking, and as a result we greatly reduce our risk of error.
Image: When we get in a hurry we reduce our image, or level of professionalism. For example, we may trick ourselves into thinking a jam packed work schedule shows how important, or busy we are, but in reality it can backfire. For having too many appointments scheduled back to back can cause us to rush through the appointments we have in order to race to our other meetings in an anxious state. We also risk being late, and ultimately, this type of hurry prevents us from ever truly reflecting a calm and relaxed demeanor. As a result, we reduce our impact with those we are meeting for we never truly allowed ourselves to allocate our full energy and commitment to the topics at hand because we were always watching the clock and racing around town. Instead, allocating plenty of spacing between appointments helps us not to rush, to offer higher value in the moments we have, and to maintain a relaxed state of mind – which always enhances our overall impact and professional image (Proverbs 22:1).
Energy: When we hurry, we clearly exhaust energy. However, unlike exercise, which helps us release stress, this type of energy exertion leaves us stressed (Psalm 127:2). However, by eliminating hurry, we actually reduce our stress, which allows us to have more energy to increase our contribution in the various events we have throughout our day. As a result, we better impact the people we interact with and come home more energized than drained.
Application: “Unhindered” – Ephesians 5:15
We are often lured into the trappings of hurry, but like anything else, we can make improvements when we commit to do so. The first step is acknowledging our tendency to hurry and identifying when we are most prone to succumb to it. We must then proactively work to eliminate it through intentional planning and prioritization. As a result, we will discover more energy, make less mistakes, obtain higher levels of presentation, and reap the other various rewards and benefits that come to those committed to stamping out the hindrance of hurry. Most importantly, what better mentor could we have than Jesus. He had the most purposeful and valuable life missions of all, yet was never in a hurry. Therefore, as His followers, I believe through Him we can learn to share in this beneficial method.