The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

When I first moved to Chicago, to Willow Creek Church, I called a friend of mine—the wisest spiritual man that I know—and I asked him, “What do I need to do to be healthy spiritually? What do I need to do to guard my heart?”

There was a long pause.

Then he said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

There was another long pause, and I finally said,

“Okay, I wrote that one down. Now, what else do you have to tell me, because I don’t have much time, and I want to get a lot of wisdom out of this conversation.”

He replied, “There is nothing else. Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. It has had other enemies in other days. In our day, in our world, hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life, because you can hardly do anything the way that Jesus did it if you are in a hurry. You cannot love in a hurry. You cannot listen to a child in a hurry.

“Jesus was often busy. But there’s a real important distinction between hurry and busy. Busy is an external condition—a condition of the body. Jesus was often busy, but he was never hurried. Hurried is a condition of the soul. It is an inward condition in which you are so frantic and preoccupied that you are unable to receive love from the Father, and unable to be present with other people, to give love to them.”

Things will not settle down in life. And if you wait to get around to what really matters, you will never do what God made you to do or be. Your soul will wither and die. Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day, and you must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. No one else will do this for you—not your boss, or your spouse, or your kids, or your parents. You must do this for yourself.

John Ortberg, Now What? God’s Guide to Life for Graduates (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011).








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