Thomas Merton once said, “the rush and pressure of modern life is a pervasive form of contemporary violence.” In his book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer asks “Can you imagine a hurried Jesus? Hurry kills all that we hold dear: spirituality, health, marriage, family, thoughtful work, creativity, generosity…name your value. Hurry is a sociopathic predator loose in our society… All my worst moments as a parent, a spouse, a coworker, even as a human being, are when I’m in a hurry—late for an appointment, behind on my unrealistic to-do list, trying to cram too much into my day. I ooze anger, tension, a critical nagging—the antitheses of love. Love is painfully time consuming…and hurry and love are incompatible…oil and water: they simply do not mix. Love, joy, and peace are at the heart of all Jesus is trying to grow in the soil of our lives, and all three are wholly incompatible with hurry.

But in our culture, to be slow is an insult. When somebody has a low IQ, we dub him or her slow. When the service at a restaurant is lousy, we call it slow. When a movie is boring, again, we complain that it’s slow. Case in point, Merriam-Webster: ‘mentally dull: stupid: naturally inert or sluggish: lacking in readiness, promptness, or willingness.’ The message is clear: slow is bad; fast is good.” But this is not of God. In his book Three Mile an Hour God, theologian Kosuke Koyama says “God walks slowly because God is love. Love has its speed.”

Walter Adams, the spiritual director to C. S. Lewis, writes “To walk with Jesus is to walk with a slow, unhurried pace. Hurry is the death of prayer and only impedes and spoils our work. It never advances it.” In other words, there is very little outside of an emergency situation that is done better in a hurried way, especially when it comes to our spiritual lives with God – even the work that we feel God is calling us to do can be undermined if not done at a loving pace.

Dallas Willard writes “Hurry is the great enemy of souls in our day. Being busy is mostly a condition of our outer world; it is having many things to do. Being hurried is a problem of the soul. It’s being so preoccupied with myself and what myself has to do that I am no longer able to be fully present with God and fully present with you. There is no way a soul can thrive when it is hurried. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

Ronald Rolheiser writes “Today, a number of historical circumstances are blindly flowing together and accidentally conspiring to produce a climate within which it is difficult not just to think about God or to pray, but simply to have any interior depth whatsoever. We, for every kind of reason, good and bad, are distracting ourselves into spiritual oblivion. It is not that we have anything against God, depth, and spirit, we would like these, it is just that we are habitually too preoccupied to have any of these show up on our radar screens. We are more busy than bad, more distracted than nonspiritual, and more interested in the movie theater, the sports stadium, and the shopping mall and the fantasy life they produce in us than we are in church. Pathological busyness, distraction, and restlessness are major blocks today within our spiritual lives.”

“It may seem counterintuitive,” writes PhD neuroscientist Anne-Laure Le Cunff “but slowing down can be a faster way to achieve your goals. Fighting our urge to live and work faster can lead to clearer thinking, deeper connections, and better mental health.”

We all live the lives we fashion. Perhaps this Lent we can consider the pace of our lives and consider slowing down. For as Adele Calhoun once wisely said “Slowing is one way to overcome inner hurriedness and addiction to busyness. Through slowing, the sacrament of the present moment is tasted to the full.”

This to me sounds like Jesus, no?

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