I have been reading through a wonderful book lately aptly titled, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry”. It was written by Pastor John Mark Comer. The premise of the book is to urge followers of Christ to—well—ruthlessly eliminate hurry from their lives. I couldn’t even count the number of times in my life that my hurried state has prevented me from living the way I have been called to live.
So often, we talk about following Christ as his followers. We claim that the best way to live is in Jesus’ footsteps, learning from the master and doing what He did—but how many of us actually want the lifestyle that Jesus had? My mind is brought to the story of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:
Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
For the rich young ruler, monetary possessions are what prevented him from following Jesus. I am willing to assume that many of us are like him—we want to follow Jesus…but something is in the way. Something is stopping us from assuming the lifestyle of the master.
Jesus lived a slow-paced life. He wasn’t in a hurry. He was certainly busy, but not in a hurry. He took his time and spoke with people, walking from town to town and healing the sick, calling on sinners to repent—and He asks that we do the same. For many of us, the summer (especially July and August) are the busiest times of the year. I would like to encourage all of you (myself included) to remember to slow down and actually spend time with God. Don’t live your life in a rush, and if you get the chance, pick up the book “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry.” It will change how you follow Jesus for the better.