Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry

By Jennifer Woodley

There is a quirky quote I found pinned at eye level near the kettle in the kitchen. It reads ‘Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry’. Simple to read, however, not so simple to do. It reminds me of the wise words of Evelyn Underhill describing our current state of being. “Most of us live such fractured and fragmented lives that centeredness (wholly centering on one thing) is a foreign word to us. The moment we try to become collected, we become painfully aware of how distracted we can be. We will become convinced how unruly and how ill-educated our attention is, how ineffective our will is, and how far away from the captaincy of our own soul we really are.”

Our dilemma is hurry. Hurry is the whirlwind force that breaks into our lives screeching, ‘Do More and Do it Faster!’ When hurry rules we have forfeited the captaincy of our own souls, indeed our entire lives. Hurry is in charge and we become its slave, distracted on the inside, distracted on the outside. Hence daily, hourly, we must eliminate hurry or it will eliminate how we were designed to be: fully present, fully awake, and fully alive to each moment. Oh how there is an urgency in our time to notice and enjoy one thing at a time, and thus missing nothing!

So how can we endeavor to eliminate the ever increasing compulsion to live beyond the parameters of being present to each single event as it occurs? Perhaps these musings provide helpful answers and inspiration to discover what is appropriate for you.

  1. Can I take time to stop, to pray between each event or conversation? Can I remember what has just happened, notice how I feel and respond accordingly? Is there really a need to rush straight ahead?
  2. Can I become aware of what I am doing right now – think about that one thing long enough to make it an intentional action and be fully engaged in it?
  3. Can I stare my compulsions full in the face, recognize their hold on me and resolve to master them through boundary setting? Can I ask God to help me and believe in His goodness towards me in this regard?
  4. Can I slowly look another in their eyes and give them my 100% attention?
  5. Can I deliberately speak and move slower today, and be conscious of this?
  6. Can I be sensitive enough to stand in the shoes of another and consider how they might be feeling? What their needs are?
  7. Can I notice when I am rushed and stop long enough to ask, ‘why?’
  8. Can I breathe deeply and consider with gratitude the example of Jesus who never rushed nor allowed the agenda of others to set His pace?
  9. Can I set limits on how much I take in? Can I ask, ‘Is it really important, helpful, or edifying?’
  10. Can I ponder over just one teaching, one new discovery, or one instruction completely, letting it have full effect, rather than consuming more?
  11. Can I take time often to withdraw, to be, to remember who I am, whom God has created me to be?
  12. Can I live simply being content with the blessings I have?

May we together seek to live wholly and fully into each moment God has graced us with.

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Jennifer Woodley and her family live on the picturesque Darling Downs near Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Jennifer has completed a Bachelor of Theology (Christian Spirituality) through the Sydney College of Divinity. She is currently studying Australian History and creative writing at the University of New England (Armidale). Jennifer has a passion for both mentoring and writing as she encourages others on their faith journey with Christ.

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