Have you ever been in a hurry?
If you have ever sat in Los Angeles traffic when you’re in a hurry, you know the angst you feel! If you have kids, you understand the word hurry quite well. “Come on kids; we have to hurry if we’re going to make it to school on time!” If you are someone who has their calendar filled with one appointment after another, you know the hustling it takes to make it to all of them.
We live in a society where hurry is the norm.
Often we even glorify it. We think that if you have a life, then your schedule is packed. Our subconscious says important people have places to go, people to see, and things to do. We pack our kids’ lives with activities, leaving a very little margin just to be still.
A few weeks ago, I babysat my two-year-old nephew while his parents were away. I was reminded of how much time slows down when you’re playing with a two-year-old. “Seriously, it is only 9 a.m.? I have already read, fed, played with, and chased the kid around – and I still have four more hours until nap time!” I had forgotten how much time slows down with little ones.
But, sometimes God gives us children and we are forced to slow down.
We begin to learn to slow down, to live in the present, and to enjoy the moment. As adults, we live our lives in a hurry. “We can’t wait until they can use the potty on their own. We can’t wait until they start school. We can’t wait until we get our life back!” But, for many of us driven type A people (like me) motherhood is a gift that God uses to teach us to slow down, be present, find our joy in the now, and to love.
We learn that love takes time.
We learn that growth takes time.
We discover the freedom in being present here and the now.
At the moment, it can feel like there is nothing significant or extraordinary in playing “Piggies” with my two-year-old nephew, as I listen with interest to his every question while repeating the things he said to make sure I understood. But, I knew he felt significant, important, and deeply loved. (I have been getting phone calls telling me how much he misses his auntie.)
We forget that, in the moments when what we do may seem insignificant, our children are learning about their significance and about how to treat others. I savored these reminders as I spent time with this adorable two-year-old.
If we are honest, we must admit that hurry produces more sin than goodness.
In Galatians 5:22-23, the Apostle Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Have you noticed how love cannot be hurried? It takes time.
Love takes time, sometimes a painstakingly long time. I have yet to meet someone who felt loved while being hurried, or while the other person was in a hurry. When we try to hurry love, we end up communicating that the person isn’t that important, but something that we need to get out of the way as soon as possible. They often feel like a project or a burden. Love and hurry do not go together.
I have yet to meet a person who exudes joy when in a hurry. I know I definitely don’t. Instead, angst, anxiety, frustration, and anger pour out. Hurry does not produce joy. When we are in a hurry, our kids experience our frustration and angst, not our joy in them. Kids cannot experience joy and delight in homes where hurry is the primary mode of operation.
Do you want peace? People who are in a hurry lack peace. Why? Because when we are in a hurry we create in ourselves, and in our surroundings, a sense of panic and urgency, not peacefulness.
Have you met a person who is patient when he or she is in a hurry? When I am in a hurry and find myself standing in a slow-moving grocery store line, I am impatient. Even what is a reasonable speed feels extremely slow! Hurry and patience don’t work well together.
Kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control are needed especially when we are in a hurry! But, being in the state of a rush all our lives will not help produce kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. These fruit of the Spirit grow because we have created an environment in our heart that allows for such things to grow.
God did not create us to be in a hurry.
I cannot recount a Biblical narrative where God was in a hurry. But there are stories of people in a hurry.
King David was in a hurry to cover up his sin of adultery, leading to murder (2 Samuel 11). King Saul was afraid as he saw people scatter from him during a war. He became impatient and was in a hurry to hear from God as the prophet Samuel was delayed in coming. So, he offered burnt offerings without prophet Samuel. He ended up losing his kingdom as a result of his disobedience. (1 Samuel 13) Sarah was in a hurry to have a child and lost hope after years of waiting. Rather than waiting for God’s fulfillment of His promise, she had Abraham sleep with Hagar, his concubine, to produce a child. (Genesis 16)
But, God, his mode of operation was not one of a hurry.
He listened to Abraham’s multiple negotiations about the destruction plan of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 18) God patiently worked with Jonah’s rebellious heart to bring the people of Nineveh to repentance. (book of Jonah) God was not in a hurry to judge Adam and Eve after they sinned. Rather, he took a walk and patiently brought them through a process of confession. (Genesis 3) He could have created everything in a day if he wanted, but He didn’t. He chose to take His time and even took a day off to enjoy and rest from His work. (Genesis 1-2)
Our God is not in a hurry.
We often put a lot of effort into teaching our children about the fruit of the Spirit and are anxious to see them bear the fruit quickly. But, what if we are hurting them and their process of growth because we are in so much of a hurry?
God often uses parenthood to cut loose from the addiction of hurry.
He shows us that our sense of hurry cannot make a minute go faster. He gives us this particular season to learn to live each day giving thanks for what we have been given because today will be gone.
So instead of being in a hurry for the next big milestone or the next big thing, enjoy, be content, and be filled with gratitude for today. Be thankful that you get to experience God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in your life and model them for your kids and to those around them.
Hurry speaks loudly and promises something better. But it is an illusion. Silence it.