5 Reasons You Really Need To Slow Down

In 1967, experts on time management delivered a report to the U. S. Senate. These experts believed the speed of technology, satellites, and robotics would present a big problem for the American workplace in the years to come.

The problem? People would have too much free time.

Heres a quote from the report. By 1985, people might have to choose between working 22 hours a week, 27 weeks a year, or retiring at 38.

The experts nailed that one.

Increased speeds in technology have, in fact, decreased free time. The experts didnt anticipate usfilling in the productivity gaps withmore productivity. But we did.

And today, were addicted to speed. This addiction is so prevalent, its been given a namehurry sickness.

Hurry sickness is defined as a continuous struggle to accomplish more things and participate in more events in less time, frequently in the face of opposition, real or imagined, from other people.

If youve ever laid on the horn because the person in front of you didnt turn fast enough or changed aislesat the grocery store because another aislehad fewer people, you might suffer with hurry sickness.

Lets be honest, our pace is unhealthy. We accomplish more in less time, but at what cost?

Look at the life of Jesus. Do you find it strange that he never rushed? He didnt cater to the worlds demands. Even though he had an enormous mission to complete in a short period of time, he was never overwhelmed or anxious.

Jesus had the weight of the world on his shoulders, literally, but he didnt allow it to crush him.

Could it be that faster doesnt equal better? Is it possible that the fast life doesnt lead to the good life? I think so. Hurriedness isnt from God. As psychiatrist Carl Jung said, Hurry is not OF the devil. Hurry IS the devil.

Before we get started, I dont want you to think Im waging war against productivity or speed. Usain Bolt might be my favorite athlete ever. I cant imagine a world without planes and computers. Im waging war against hurriedness, the idolatrous result of bowing down to speed and productivity.

Hereare 5 things a hurried life costs us.

1. A hurried life prevents us from knowing God.

Last night, I read a book to my boys called Where Is God? The words hit me hard, so much so that I read them again after the boys went to sleep. Listen to this.

Where is GodGod is in the beginningin the tiny hands of a babyWhere is God?God is in the endin the last bite of birthday cakeWhere is God? God is in the worldGod is everywherewherever we look.

A hurried world has no time for looking, no space to notice God. Life is about the next thing, the next event, the next item on our to-do list.

As long as we move at this speed, we shouldnt wonder why our relationship with God suffers.

God is wherever we look, but are we looking for Him?

2. A hurried life decreases compassion and empathy.

Compassion and empathy are similar, but different. Compassion sees the suffering or pain of another person and has a desire to help. Empathy sees the emotions of another person and feels the same thing.

Compassion and empathy disappear in hurried cultures. Rather than helping our neighbor or listening to our hurting friend or co-worker, we resort to pick up your boot straps and get over it attitudes, the very opposite of Jesus.

Jesus always made space for compassion, regardless of the demands around him. He welcomed children, fed thousands of hungry people, and was continually side-tracked to heal the sick and talk with outcasts.

How frustrating would Jesus have been for an event planner?

What do you feel when you see someone hurting? Whats your response to someone with a different perspective? What about the outcasts and marginalized? Are you more inclined to stop and listen or judge them for not trying hard enough, making bad choices, etc.?

3. A hurried life increases anxiety, depression, and addiction.

Through my American lens, it seems like Jesus wasted most of his life. He was baptized at the age of 30, and immediately after went into the wilderness for 40 days?

Jesus could have performed miracles long before 30, and his following might have been larger. Who knows, more people might know Jesus today if he started his ministry earlier.

Thats a no-brainer, God. Maybe you need an expert on time-management to help you steward the life of Jesus?

Whats that, God?Yeah, you made the starsYeah, you were here long before meYoure right, having someone you created consult you sounds silly.

The 30 years Jesus spent in obscurity werent wasted years. God was developing important virtues in Jesuspatience and self-control.

Temptation is, in essence, a decrease in the time between impulse and action. It should come as no surprise that anxiety, depression, and addiction plague a hurried culture. Even instant gratification takes too long, as actress Carrie Fisher once said.

Tell us to wait or wrestle with tension and pain rather than medicate it, and you might as well told us to backhand slap a baby.

Could it be the 30 years prior to Jesuss ministry and the 40 days in the wilderness created a gap between impulse and action so wide he was never mentally or spiritually capable of sin? Not to say Jesus wasnt physical susceptible to attack, but when Satan approached him, he was seasoned with years of patience and self-control, preventing his mind and heart from acting on the physical impulses.

If so, maybe its time we stopped looking at obscurity and wilderness, tension and pain as negatives.

4. A hurried life destroys meaningful relationships.

Much of what makes life meaningful, friendships, family, and community, need the very thing hurried people dont have: time.

Busyness strangles, meaningful, life-giving friendships. Hurried people simply dont have the space to maintain friendships or invest in building new ones.

Ive seen this in my life. Between work, kids, and family, Ill go weeks, months even, without calling my best friendsand not even realize it.

Marriage is also greatly affected by hurriedness. Love is patient, the first component listed in 1 Corinthians 13. Love isnt rushed. It doesnt come to fruition over night. Great marriages, the ones I see looking at my grandparents, the ones filled with peace and joy and hope, they take years. But, lets be honest, we dont have years. And I wonder how many divorces and broken homes are the product of impatience?

Then theres kids. Kids might suffer more than anyone from our lust-filled affair with busyness and hurry. As a father of two, I feel its my duty to protect my boys from boredom. But, today, as they put socks on their hands, running frantically through the house trying to catch a flying monster, I wondered if I needed a 3 and 4-year-old to protect me.

Carefree timelessness is the oxygen that keeps meaningful relationship alive, and the birthplace of wonder, joy, and creativity.

5. A hurried life leads to a superficial, meaningless existence.

When things happen too fast, nobody can be certain about anything, about anything at all, not even about himself.Milan Kundera

Purpose is a trendy word in todays culture, and rightfully so, we were created for something larger than ourselves. But in a hurried world, a purposeful life is more elusive than the Loch Ness Monster.

Heres why.

Your purpose is unique to you. Its an outpouring of your passion and gifts. Uncovering these requires introspection, looking inside yourself. It requires stillness and time with God.

Busy people have no time for introspection and stillness, and the result is a world of copy-cats and posers. A hurried world would rather imitate someone than become the unique men and women God created us to be.

We can be sure were moving at an unhealthy speed when were more concerned with what were doing than who were becoming, more concerned with external validation than integrity.

And we can be sure a meaningless, self-seeking existence awaits us unless we learns to slow down.


Your lifes pace matters. And I dont believe the costs of a hurried life are worth the rewards. The fast isnt necessarily the good life. A more productive life isnt necessarily a more meaningful one.

I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!



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5 Reasons You Really Need To Slow Down

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