Hurry.

Even writing the word and you reading it has the ability to bring an urgency to mind.  In fact the word urgency is a great way to describe hurry.  Hurry can be defined as a condition of urgency that causes us to move and act faster.  Think about the last time you were on a long car ride and drank too much coffee.  Or if you’re not a coffee drinker, insert your beverage of choice.  

Bottom line?  You needed a bathroom…and you needed it fast.  You had a definite sense of urgency.  And if you are honest, it’s all you could really think about!?  It consumed your mind!

Am I right?  

I mean, you try to keep your mind busy.  But the harder you try to willpower yourself to not think about finding the nearest restroom, the more you feel like you jeans are going to be your nearest restroom.  

Go ahead!  Laugh!  It’s ok!  You know you’ve been there.  Me too!

There are good things to be in a hurry for I suppose…like finding a bathroom when it is urgent.  Or what about emergency responders?  I’m thankful that they realize the urgent condition of someone trapped in a car accident or the urgency of the ER doctors and nurses that attend to the patients coming in from the accident.   

But what about times when the condition of urgency is not so, well, urgent?  The circumstances determine the state of urgency and our response.  And we can respond poorly.  We hurriedly move past moments of connection, God moments when He desires more than anything to just be our Shepherd.  

It’s universal.  

We all will at some time struggle with it, serve it, and languish spiritually as a result of it. 

But yet we still hurry!

Hurry ever stands an adversary to being closer to Jesus…that is…growing spiritually.  Think about what you start to eliminate from your days and what you are including when they become more hurried…this question you should answer slowly.  It requires laying it all on the table before Jesus and asking Him what He wants.  

There’s a novel idea…it’s what I had to do.  

But before I get to that, just a little history.  I grew up in the church, left the church shortly after high school, and returned about the time that Jalynn was born.  From that point on, I began to be so thirsty for Jesus.  I wanted more of Him in my life.  That whole psalm where the author says he pants for God like a deer pants for water…yea that was me!  It was a great season of spiritual growth.  I knew quite well my manager, master and owner.  

Psalm 23:1:  The LORD is my shepherd.  

But slowly I began to lose sight my shepherd.   Hurry slowly took ownership of me.  I began serving hurry instead of serving my shepherd.  The urgency for Jesus was replaced.  

What is interesting is I allowed it.  

What followed was a period of time where I felt like I hit a glass ceiling.  I could see, but I couldn’t feel.  What I mean is that I could see God working all round me, but I couldn’t feel God working in me.  It was as if I had stalled and began settling what I was experiencing as the norm as if to come to the resolve “This must be the way it is.”

All of this led to my table meeting with Jesus where I laid it all out.  I began writing everything out, my schedule, calendar, things that I was giving my time to, things I wanted to do, things I was doing, things I needed to do, things I needed to stop doing, relationships that needed attention…and I wrote it all down.  

Doing that felt good really.  It was therapeutic, but was not the answer.  

That came when I looked at my Bible sitting right beside my list, opened to the 23rd Psalm.  All I had to read was the first five words.

Psalm 23:1  The LORD is my shepherd. 

The idea of a shepherd is so good!  

The shepherd owns the sheep.  The shepherd knows exactly what his sheep need and cares for them.  Sheep on their own are dumb.  They aren’t fast.  They need led to the right places to eat, drink, and rest.  There are parasites and predators that will attack sheep unless defended and have the protection and healing of the shepherd.   

Those five simple words began to crack me wide open.  I realized I had allowed hurry to become my boss.  Hurry became my manager, master, and owner.  

Hurry had become my shepherd.  

What you and I follow and allow to manage us determines both our today and our future.  I had allowed hurry to do this.  I had stopped reading.  I had stopped writing.  I didn’t take the time to quietly be with God.  

Hurry demanded that time.  It was urgent!  

So I demanded it back.  

This was not a fast track.  It took being disciplined and intentional.  But what is incredible to me is the amazing grace of God.  

Grace was still there.  

As I began to turn to the Good Shepherd, letting Him manage and own me, I began experiencing Him.  No longer did I just see Him, I felt Him.  And I began to grow again. 

The urgency of the world gave way to the urgency of Jesus – to just be with Him.  

Paul has some pretty good words here.  He says to not be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  (Romans 12:2).  It takes a renewing of the mind to eliminate hurry.  Our world is saturated with hurry, with things that drain you and I that are just not necessary.  They, like parasites do to sheep, drain us of life. 

Eliminating hurry means saying yes to what we ought to say yes to.  And it means saying no to things we need to say no to.  And we are not smart enough to do this on our own.  Remember…sheep are dumb.  We need a shepherd, a manager, an owner…Jesus…to help us.  

That renewing of the mind that Paul talks about?  That doesn’t happen by just going to church on Sunday.  That renewing of the mind that eliminates hurry as a manager and master requires time spent with Jesus daily.  That takes discipline.  It is every day making Jesus the owner, master, and manager over your life.  It is placing yourself as a sheep under His care, realizing that everything you need comes from Him and Him alone.  

Renewing of the mind comes when we saturate ourselves with Scripture.  It has to be read and mediated on.  Want to eliminate serving hurry?  Say no to something else and yes to Scripture.  There are all kinds of great devotionals and reading plans.  Get a good study Bible!  The Life Application Study Bible is a great one.  A great devotional to start doing every morning is Experiencing God Day by Day.  

The bottom line?  Start a daily routine that renews your mind toward serving the right manager.  That is one super effective way to eliminate hurry from your life.  

One thing that eliminating hurry is not.  It is not saying no to everything.  Your church needs you.  Your kids need you. Your family needs you.  Your kids are involved in things that are important and therefore important to you.  

Eliminating hurry starts with examining just where you have time leaks and plugging those leaks with something that directs you to the right manager, master, and owner.  

The Good Shepherd.  

Could you imagine what your world would look like if you did this?  What would your family look like if you slowed down, began eliminating hurry from your life, and plugged the leaks with Scripture?  

I would imagine you’d find just enough time to do all the things that need done for that day.  That’s just how God works.  Somehow, when we place Him as our manager, owner, and master, renew our minds daily, and remove hurry from our lives, He makes things just so much better and efficient.  

That’s what He’s so good at!  He is the Good Shepherd after all!  Make him your manager, owner and master and begin removing hurry from your life.  

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