“Good! Fine! Okay. Not Bad. Rank Rotten!” How honestly do you answer the routine question, “How’re you doing / going?” How well do you mask how harassed & harangued you are? My trite polite answers to this passing question are: “Good!” “Cream Crackered (tired) but Well!” Or, if things are frantic, “Stressed & Strung!” This last one usually betrays ‘Hurry Sickness’ (too much on).
‘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 Lord, or not, hurry, scurry & flurry lead to worry, dissatisfaction and feeling that life is running away from you. ‘Hurry’ for some is like 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. 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 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 somewhere else completely.
For me, disciplined Journaling, prayer & Bible reading are ‘speed bumps’ at daybreak, slowing me down and tuning me into God’s presence & priorities, releasing me from Sleep’s Grace into God’s gift of a new day. ‘Sabbath’ literally means ‘Stop it!’ Stop pretending you are ‘in charge’, boss, God! Saturday (or failing that, Monday) is my weekly Sabbath and boy do I need it to rest, renew and regenerate. It’s a day-stop to let the presence of God & loved ones become more real and meaningful.
ADVENT is a precious period (28th Nov’ – 25th Dec’ this year) in which to actively wait and look out for Jesus’ coming. But if caught up in flurry, hurry, scurry and worry we’ll miss Him: through The Bible; in people passing by, whom He calls us to serve and care for (whom God can also bless us through); through nature around us as we walk, jog or cycle; within ourselves as we pause to listen to our body and being, take stock and allow Jesus’s Spirit to guard, guide and lead us onwards.
Blogging is another speed-bump for me, by the way! God describes himself as ‘The Great I Am’. “Lord, teach me to be a 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!”