“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 are: “Good!” “Cream Crackered (tired) but Well!” Or, if things are frantic, “Stressed & Strung!” This last one usually betrays ‘Hurry Sickness’ (trying to do too much).
‘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 life running away from you. ‘Hurry’ for some of us is an addiction, such that, if we’re not overscheduled and chasing our tail, we’re ill at ease. Sadly for some workaholics it’s not till their deathbed it dawns that they were never fully there for their significant others.
Eugene Peterson said you can’t be busy and pray. I’m an activist; I connect with God and feel his presence through active service and challenge. I think you ‘can’ be busy and pray, but not ‘hurry & pray’. Simply living for your holidays tragically misses the majority of living. Likewise, when in another’s company, it’s sad when we’re so concerned about the past or can’t stop thinking about the future, that we miss truly ‘being with’ people. We smile, nod and look as if we’re listening but are actually somewhere else.
‘Sabbath’ is one of God’s critical ‘speed bumps’ to slow us down to live more healthily. ‘Keep the Sabbath Day special’ is the Command most neglected and transgressed by us Revs, turning God’s Command into a mere Suggestion. ‘Sabbath’ literally means ‘Stop It!’ Stop pretending you’re God, ‘in charge’, Lord, Boss! 6 days God laboured in creating all that is, the 7th Day was time to STOP, REST and REVIEW, “That’s Good!” said God in appreciation of His handiwork, time for the Trinity to celebrate Their ‘BEING’ and ‘Doing’.
My recent 60 Second Sermon on ‘Sabbath’ attracted above average responses, suggesting that the need for such Rest is clear. Hebrews 4 helps us go further to receive God’s invitation into a daily and eternal rest through Jesus Christ. But you have to treasure this daily gift of God’s Loving Presence, Perspective, Purpose, Power and Peace through daily disciplines, as well as weekly ones. For me, Journaling, Prayer and Bible Reading are daybreak ‘speed bumps’ to slow me down and tune me into God’s priorities. Monthly meetings with a ‘soul friend’ (buddy & mentor) keeps me accountable, someone with permission to ask awkward questions like, “Why are you so frazzled Neil?” & make observations like, “I’m hearing a lot about how you feel Neil, but nothing about God.” Quarterly time-outs to trace threads in my journals, and regular Blogging & Vlogging are other speed-bumps which help me to ‘review & reflect’. As someone said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
A Wee Prayer: “God, You are ‘The Great I Am’. Teach me to BE a human BEING: to live, love, laugh, work, worship, play and pray, with You, moment by moment, day by day. In your loving presence I am most alive!”