How are you with ‘interruptions’? How you react or respond to interruptions can betray who and where you are at any given time. If irritated or angry we react and quickly try to move on, but if calm and ready to respond accordingly we can, like Jesus, allow interruptions to become opportunities to bless and be blessed.

‘Hurry Sickness’ is being so busy or pressured that your ‘presence’ is robbed from the ‘present’, mind and thought drained & distracted from being in the ‘Now’. Whether you have faith in an ever-present loving God, or not, hurry, scurry & flurry lead to worry, dissatisfaction and feeling that life is running away from you. ‘Hurry’ for some is an addiction, such that, when we’re not overscheduled and constantly chasing our tail, we’re ill at ease. It’s not till some workaholics reach their deathbed that it dawns they were never fully there for their significant others.

Eugene Peterson said you can’t be busy and pray. His writings are a helpful antidote to the drivenness of Western working life’s magnetic pull. I’m an activist; I connect with God and feel his presence through active service and a challenging life. I believe you ‘can’ be busy and pray, but that you cannot ‘hurry & pray’. It’s tragic when we live from one holiday to holiday and miss living in between! Sad when we worry about the past or can’t stop thinking about the next thing and miss really ‘being with’ people. We smile, nod, and look as if we’re listening to someone when we’re far away where our thoughts have taken us.

In Church we considered 5 antidote activities for hurry sickness: Slow, Say “No”, Stop, Crop, & Bop. 1. Go Slow. The speed of Love is ‘Slow’. Compassion, care, and loving concern are in short supply if we’re tearing around at 100 mph. Go more slowly. Choose the slower lane or queue and learn to breathe more deeply. Become aware of where you are, who you’re with and who you are, ‘beloved child of God’. 2. Say “No”. Saying “Yes” to one thing means you must say “No” to another, so become sure of your most important relationships (EG. God, Self, Family, Friends, Colleagues, etc) and purpose (Service, etc), and don’t be afraid to say “No”. 3. Stop! Receive the command & gift that is ‘Sabbath’ 24 hours dedicated to stopping work (EG. Computer, Emails, Mobile, etc) to worship and remember your identity as a human being, not ‘doing’, to invest in your intimate relationships with God, your own soul, and significant others. 4. Declutter, perhaps with the help of a ‘closet exorcist’to help you eject your excess and avoid restuffing (buying more stuff) and reshuffling (moving stuff to another corner). Consider time waisted on social media or watching mind-numbing TV, etc. Devote that time to more important things. 5. Bop! Make good use of leisure time. Find activitie that energise. Knitting, nattering, reading, riding, walking, running, cycling, sport, exercise, the great outdoors, cooking, baking, crafting, creating, music, volunteering, dancing, whatever breathes life into your soul and makes you grateful to be alive. Slow, Say “No”, Stop, Crop, & Bop!

 Dear God, as we travel to and through Christmas and into a New Year, help me to banish ‘hurry’ from my life. You are, ‘The Great I Am’. Teach me to be who I truly am, a beloved human BEING: to live, love, laugh, work, worship, play and pray, with You, moment by moment, day by day. It’s in your loving presence I feel most alive!”