Preaching Articles
  • What’s The Big Hurry?

    By Lance Witt on Apr 18, 2016

    Replenish Ministries

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    I confess to you that I am a hurrier. I wish I had a dollar for every time my kids have heard me say in an agitated tone “Hurry up!” Sometimes I walk in a hurry and leave my wife behind. When I have to wait in line, or a flight gets delayed, or there is dead time in a worship service, or someone is telling a long story, I find myself internally saying, “Could you please hurry up?”


I confess to you that I am a hurrier. I wish I had a dollar for every time my kids have heard me say in an agitated tone “Hurry up!” Sometimes I walk in a hurry and leave my wife behind.  When I have to wait in line, or a flight gets delayed, or there is dead time in a worship service, or someone is telling a long story, I find myself internally saying, “Could you please hurry up.”
 
When I served as an executive pastor at Saddleback Church, I began to notice a developing pattern.  I was regularly out on the patio before and after services. Other staff members or volunteers would come to me for a variety of reasons.  But, almost always, they started off our interaction with the same exact words.  “I know you’re busy, but…” The very people I was supposed to be serving began to feel like they were an interruption or imposition. I’m not sure if it was my body language or lack of listening or that I was looking past them to the next thing I needed to do, but people were sensing that I was in a hurry and overloaded… I was BUSY.    
 
I’ve been thinking about starting a support group for compulsive hurriers. The good news is that our meetings wouldn’t last long.
 
If I’m honest, I would tell you that I have a love/hate relationship with my busyness. I hate being hurried and hassled by an overcrowded schedule but more often than I want to admit, the feeling of being in demand is intoxicating. It feeds my ego and makes me feel needed.  And, I can even carry my busyness as a badge of honor.  The lie I have believed is that important people are busy people.
 
Having every moment filled with activity and noise can be a kind of drug. It can actually become the fuel that keeps us living at an insane pace.  Here are some questions I have been asking myself and I would encourage you to ask as well.  “What is driving my busyness?  Why is it so hard to be still and quiet? Is there some emotional need or insecurity that keeps me going at an unreasonable pace?”
 
This issue has huge implications for the health of your soul, the vitality of your walk with God and your stress level.
 
After John Ortberg had accepted a new church staff position, he went to Dallas Willard for some wisdom. "If you had to give me one piece of advice, one thing that I need to watch to make sure that I stay spiritually vital, what would it be?" And this is what he said to me. He said, "You must eliminate hurry from your life."
 
You cannot live life at warp speed without warping your soul. And you cannot follow Jesus at a sprint.
 
I have a friend who serves as an executive pastor in Canada.  A few years ago he was diagnosed with cancer.  Because of the treatments he took a medical leave of absence for several months.  Our prayers and his treatments were effective and his cancer is in remission.  One day, after he had returned to his position, I asked him what was the greatest lesson he learned during that time he was off work and receiving his treatments.  Without hesitation he answered “hurry is the enemy of relationship.”
 
Let that soak in.  Hurry is the enemy of relationship.  Gradually, I am learning that speed and intimacy do not make good partners.  What is true in my marriage is also true in my relationship with God. I can’t have a deep relationship with my wife in a “hurry”.  This insatiable need for speed sets us up for a monumental spiritual struggle. Our lives are over-stimulated, but our souls are undernourished.  
 
When you run fast and hard and long, eventually you will drain your soul.  You won’t really notice it for awhile but you will wake up one day and be emotionally empty and spiritually dry.  Ministry will feel hard and frustrating.  People will get on your nerves more than usual.  That is not a fun place to be, especially when the demands of ministry never take a break.
 
Now, this is where it gets real dangerous.  When you are red-lining  and yet you have nothing in the tank (emotionally or spiritually)… you, my friend, are in trouble.  Here is what I have observed in my life and the lives of other ministry leaders.  Running on empty will eventually lead to cynicisim, disillusionment, and burn out.  YOU are not the exception.  
 
So, how is the pace of your life?  Are you red-lining?  Are you living a healthy rhythm?  Ask a couple of trusted friends or family members to honestly assess how you are doing with this area of your life.
 
Let me leave you with a question for you to ponder… What would it take for YOU personally to slow down? 
 

Lance is the founder of Replenish ministries and is often referred to as a Pastor’s Pastor.  He is also the author of the book Replenish, which is dedicated to helping leaders live and lead from a healthy soul.  Before launching Replenish, Lance served 20 years as a senior pastor and 6 years as an Executive/Teaching pastor at Saddleback Church. 

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Kenny Gilbert

commented on Apr 18, 2016

My challenge is this. I preach at a nursing home every weekend. It is the humbling thing I have ever done, wouldn't trade it for anything. Heres my challenge; i work for a large company as a salesman. my sales are such at the moment that i am close to losing my job. i tyr to ignore that but you cannot ignore the 5000 lb gorilla in the room. I've prayed, I've reasoned with God. Ive gotten angry w God(that never works, I would never recommend it. But the pressure and stress of trying to reach my quota and then the subsequent lack of God's intervention on , behalf makes this one of the MOST frustrating times in my 62 years. At this stage, I simply do not know what else to do. I witness, I pray, I preach, I serve, I give my tithe. Give myself. Quite simply put"HELLO GOD, IT'S ME .YOUR SERVANT, KENNY GILBERT. WHAT IS IT YOU WOULD HAVE ME DO LORD? NAME IT, I WILL DO IT. I'M VENTING. I repeat Proverbs 3:5-6 in my sleep (or when I awake in the bed) I only want to have the faith that I need to have, the mustard seed variety. Dont really know what else to say or do. Any words of encouragement are appreciated. I've been given till the end of this month to turn this around or I wont have to be concerned about sales w this company, Then, I can start delivering pizzas. I'm okay w that. Thanks for listening,er, reading

Lawrence Webb

commented on Apr 18, 2016

Kenny, I have no advice to offer. Advice is cheap. But I'm reminded of the story of a farmer in the old days of dirt roads and wagons. Farmer John was on the dirt road on a rainy day with his horse and wagon when the wagon got mired up to the axle. Try as he might, Farmer John couldn't get unstuck. A friend came along and John cried out, "Can you help me try to get out of this mud?" The friend said, "Yes, John. I'll try to get you out, and if I can't get you out, I'll get up and sit in the wagon with you." About all I can do is sit in the wagon with you and pray with you for relief.

Nelson Blount

commented on Apr 18, 2016

I'm with Lawrence in my response only that I relate to the article so much. I've always been too busy. Because I've been too busy in the past I'm diabetic and spending hundreds of dollars on meds. If only I'd stopped long enough. I do walk fast and even today in cardiac rehab due to a heart attack I find myself walking fast, biking fast, tread milling fast, rowing as fast as I can. I'LL SIT WITH YOU TWO IN THE WAGON. You think there is room?!!!

Alex Delos Santos

commented on Apr 18, 2016

Matthew 6:33 is one that is reminded of me. He may be preparing you for the best. Shalom

Ray Mckendry

commented on Apr 18, 2016

Kenny, I have no magic bullets or silver ones but this gold I will give you. I am praying for you brother because God Almighty, El Shaddai is on your side and since you work for the best Boss ever, He will see to it that you are given all you need to serve and enjoy Him forever.

Suresh Manoharan

commented on Apr 18, 2016

A much-needed article for all those who wrongly equate Heavenly rewards with the busyness of their Ministry. The width of the Ministry is not as important as the depth of relationship with the ONE on whose behalf the same is purportedly done!!!,

Graeme Jones

commented on Apr 18, 2016

The Lord has been challenging me to worship Him especially in the times of greatest stress. So much of Scripture speaks about finding strength when we sit quietly with Him. Getting quiet enough to hear His voice is the biggest challenge for me. But when I can thank Him for my circumstances and declare confidently that He is God and in charge of every situation, my faith rises and I see Him break through. After all He is the God of the breakthrough. Thanks for the challenge in this article.

Mallory Horne Jr

commented on Apr 18, 2016

Kenny, I have one thing that always helps me slow down. I believe this will help you if you ask the question and get gut honest: I ask myself "why". Why do I do all I do and why do I feel or sense I "need to". For me it was about approval - Father's and people's. I've dropped that and life has finally settled. Yes it cost me much financially and otherwise. It cost me nothing with my Abba because I finally learned what so many have said about time alone with God. I hope this helps you as it has and repeatedly does me. May the Holy Spirit truly guide you to see the motives that mercilessly drive us humans.

Ray Mckendry

commented on Apr 18, 2016

If we have a fresh vision of people dropping into Hell like biscuits off a conveyor belt, we may want to hurry some parts of our discipleship!

Ray Mckendry

commented on Apr 18, 2016

1 Corinthians 7:29 "But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none..."

Akin Ige

commented on Apr 21, 2016

Thanks for this article and the postings. I confess that I am a hurrier. I write in hurry and eat my meals like a whirlwind. Hurry appears to be a demon spirit deployed to drain Christians of both physical and spiritual energies. A hurrier will also be a worrier! Fortunately for me, God has been merciful by first taking me out of circulation, thousands of miles from my usual environment, stripped of power and busyness. He has blessed me with an extraordinary wife and children who are extremely patient who speak to calm my newly acquired patience. But I must confess that I feel very depressively quiet!

Lavern Chambers

commented on Apr 21, 2016

Hello Kenny, us humans just love the school of hard knocks and then we somehow just expect magical solutions, with little to no work implied. If you really trust God, what is hindering you from doing so now? Just a reminder from your school of hard knocks PHD graduate;We have attendance to treat the grain of mustard seed like its the gene of the lamp. Well it might well be if you have faith like that, but it doesn't come without work. Did you make a plan with God? Then remember that if you keep doing your part, he'll show exactly in the moment he needs to. If God created a balanced universe, then everything in it most also be in line with that balance. Take a second to refocus through stillness, and ask God to show you, where in your job activities the imbalance is, and fix it. Warning, it can be a lot of work! The fear you are feeling is really there to distract you from seeing your circumstances from the right perspective. It is difficult to live through door closers, especially when we can't see what is ahead. Take time to get ready for your change. However it comes, I pray your strength in its acceptance and for your path forward to be prosperous and Blessed! Shalom!

David Nwogu

commented on Apr 21, 2016

Not really healthy dialogue for this forum. Again, I believe Matt.18:15 can help those concerned.

David Nwogu

commented on Apr 22, 2016

David Nwogu

commented on Apr 22, 2016

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