Hurry up?   Maybe, Maybe Not

Bob Hatcher

December 10, 2010

          Hurrying up is important for the pit crew in a NASCAR race, when a term paper has a firm deadline or when you have to arrive for an exam on time or you can’t take that exam.

Hurrying was certainly important for me when I was running a hundred yard dash, trying to evade a tackle or trying to take down an opponent in a wrestling match.    

But hurrying up can definitely be hard on one’s nerves, stressful, or lead to mistakes.

One can put hurrying into the context of Ecclesiastes 3:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under heaven:  

 A time to hurry and a time to refrain from   hurrying

      These are not the actual words in Ecclesiastes 3 but they could well have been.  For they are the truth.

      Often we are aware of the unpleasantness of hurrying.  At least I am. It is not comfortable spending long blocks of time under the compulsion to hurry, hurry, hurry. Here are 7 ways one might move away from hurrying – 7 ways of approaching a less hurried existence:

  1. 1.   Plan to arrive where you are going way ahead of time. If you arrive 15 minutes early to church or 2 hours before a plane is due to leave, there are always great possibilities, especially if you carry a book with you.
  2. 2.   Take several deep breaths right in the midst of tasks that must be done on time and are full of pressure.
  3. 3.   Work into your list of tasks to complete in the day ahead, tasks that relax you or slow you down just a bit. For example: reading one of the psalms slowly; calling up a loved one just to say hello; or just saying the phrase to yourself: you are not in a hurry.
  4. 4.   Find a comfortable place and take a 15 minute nap. If you do this repeatedly, this can become your own little foxhole.  Everyone needs a foxhole to go to in order to avoid the excitement and pressures of the day.
  5. 5.   Pat yourself on the back occasionally for being a good person who is doing the best you know how to do. It may help to do this literally.
  6. 6.   Get down on your knees to communicate for just a moment with your higher power or God.
  7. 7.   Remember that you can always change your plan, but only if you have a plan. In terms of the question of hurrying, this may mean giving yourself permission to decide in the course of a hectic day, to cross something off your to-do list completely before ever starting to complete it.