I hope this midweek article doesn’t feel like a duplicate of Ross’ from last week. The message is close to the same, but I felt it needed shared even if it’s one lesson given twice. We usually don’t master things the first time around anyways.
Last week my family went to Middle Bass Island, Lake Erie for the seventh year. It became our back-to-school trip in 2014. Each year we look forward to those five days at the lake; the quiet, the stillness, the escape. Middle Bass Island is just past Put-In-Bay, but the two islands could not be more different. MBI is a very quiet, mostly residential island. Only two restaurants and one small general store. People walk, ride bikes or drive golf carts. Our days are spent kayaking, sitting by the water, watching sunsets and eating good food.
This year I had decided I would leave my phone on “airplane mode” for the entire five days. Meaning that I would not have internet access or cell service. My phone served only as a camera and a way to listen to podcasts. The podcast, Fight Hustle, End Hurry, had been recommended by a friend. Each day I took my chair out to the edge of the water and listened to Fight Hustle, End Hurry as the waves crashed beneath my feet. It is a 10-episode series by John Mark Comer and Jeff Bethke with topics like; sabbath, saying no, simplicity and slowing down.
Those topics might bring up feelings of legalism, they might make your stomach twist, or ask why I would choose to listen to that on vacation. This is what our culture has done to us. It has made us afraid of the way Jesus lived. It has made us blind to the fast-pace in which we think we have to live. A few years ago, or even months ago, I would have been with you in those thoughts. God has slowly been revealing to me that I need to walk at His pace. Read through even one book of the Bible and you will realize that Jesus wasn’t in a hurry. He welcomed interruptions. He stopped along his journey. He made time to talk with those who needed him. He listened.
I don’t walk at His pace. I walk at the worlds. I hope it’s not the case for you, but it surely is for me. I live a hurried life. I go from day-to-day often in a blur. I don’t welcome interruptions, they frustrate me. I rarely take time to listen. When I try slowing down, I feel anxious that I’m not accomplishing enough. The thought of a Sabbath is nice, but doesn’t seem realistic.
My thoughts have changed, and so has my heart. I feel more like myself. More like the person I was created to be. When I live slowly. When I give thought to my ways.
Since March, our lives have slowed down. We have replaced a hurried life with a slowed life. For all of the things we could complain about, this is one that I have actually grown to see as a gift. Our culture didn’t slow down until it was forced. I wouldn’t have slowed down until I was forced. Here’s my confession- I love it.
I have become more mindful in what I say “yes” to, and have allowed myself the grace to say “no” when needed. I have looked at my weekly schedule and said it’s too much. I have prioritized what comes first and then added what I have capacity for. I have taken Sabbath more seriously- as a time to refresh and refocus on my Creator. Have I tried these things and failed? Yes. Do I still continue to try? Yes.
This way of life doesn’t come naturally to anyone. It contradicts our world. It’s a journey of progress over perfection. Of grace over legalism.
Will you join me in the fight against hustle? In putting an end to hurry? Will you put down your filled up yet empty life for a life at Jesus’ pace?