The other day, I re-posted a paragraph or two about the differences between a pilgrim and a tourist. It is risky to live as pilgrim - it takes courage and faith and an openness to be led both internally and externally. Ultimately, with such a posture, the path opens to us and we begin to notice: All of Life is Sacred and All of life is Gift.
In my book, unhurryUp! into Easter: A Lenten Pilgrimage, I share the Pilgrim's credo that my own Franciscan Spiritual Director passed along to me. It has been a valuable, ongoing reminder to me of what is really most important as I walk with God in this life. Over the next few days - as we approach the beginning of Lent, I am going to share some thoughts about each of the five statements in the Pilgrim's credo. If you'd like to lean into this more, I humbly ask that you'd consider purchasing my devo in the Kindle store (by clicking the link to the right.)
I am not in a hurry
If you are around reFresh for any length of time you'll soon discover that unhurriedness is a cornerstone to our way of living and leading. It's so critical that we've included it in our tagline: "reFresh: creating unhurried space for the soul."
What's up with that? Why unhurriedness?
I'm so glad you asked. Sit with this quote for just a moment:
"If we can't get through the activities our day without feeling rushed or hurried, then we are probably trying to do more than what God asks of us." Mark Scandrette
Do hurry and rush represent your rhythm? Are you tired? Feeling lack and not-enoughness. The remedy is to SLOW DOWN...it is to not take on more than even what God is asking you to do and to be. This isn't because God is a cosmic kill joy - it is because, as John Ortberg so profoundly put it, "Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible." Every time I rush through a meal or rush past a stranger (or even a lovely flower) I miss connection - with God, with myself and with those who are with me.
I cannot grow in love without slowing down. Adding more to my life will probably not help me grow closer to God as much as practicing a letting go of attitudes, activity and stuff that keeps me perpetually moving (even when I'm sitting still!)
Take a moment to gently reflect back on the last 24-48 hours. From the time you got out of bed to climbing back in, in what moments did you try to hurry life along?
No seriously, stop for a moment, and think through any times you've sped up to get past a "slow poke" or verbally ushered someone (or yourself) to "hurry up!" because they were impeding your progress - whether behind the wheel of a car or clutching the handle of a grocery cart or rallying your friends or family toward some activity! How many times have you:
- Rushed through a meal?
- Rushed bathtime with the kids?
- Rushed to get to school, work, and appointment?
- Felt frenzied because you are habitually running behind? or
- Felt like you're missing out or can never "get ahead" (or even catch up.)
As you reflect - please be gentle with yourself. This isn't a time to heap shame and say, "I should do better!" or "Why can't I slow down!?" These types of self-chastisement only fan the flames of a type of "hurry sickness"
which is void of aliveness and "awakeness."
"God's words never say, 'Hurry up.' God words only whisper: Wake Up. Hurry is never what’s needed — only a slowness that’s fully awake." Ann Voskamp
The speed of our life reflects, functionally, our theology of who we believe God is, of who we are, and of what we think is most valuable. When I hurry to procure a life of my own making, it belies my belief that I do not ultimately, believe that God is a good and abundant provider.
How might God be inviting you to unhurryUp! during this upcoming Lent season?