Summary: God never intended that we live the pace of life we are trying to keep.
Life in the Fast Lane
24/7: Get Your Foot Off The Gas!
Woodlawn Baptist Church
November 29, 2004
Did you hear the story about Tattoo the basset hound? One evening Tattoo went for an evening run. It was a run he didn’t intend to go on, but when his owner shut his leash in the car door and took off for a drive, Tattoo had no choice. A motorcycle officer noticed a passing vehicle with something that appeared to be dragging behind it. As he passed the vehicle, he saw Tattoo. He finally chased the car to a stop, and Tattoo was rescued – but not before the dog reached speeds of 20-25 mph and rolled over several times.
Do you ever feel like Tattoo? Are you too busy? Do you feel hurried all the time? Stressed out by the fast pace of life? If you do, you’re not alone. Studies show that most people are stressed out, due in large part to the frantic pace of life we’re trying to keep. Today we have erected a new god in our lives. It is not the god of money, or the god of success: it is the god we call 24/7. Most who bow at the feet of this god have no idea they worship it. In fact, they never set out to pay homage to it, but slowly and subtly it has happened. 24/7 is all about a hurried and busy pace of life. It is fast, it is filled, it is frantic, but it is also frustrating and can leave you drained in every way when it’s all said and done.
One writer has appropriately called this condition “hurry sickness.” Our culture is infected with it, our churches can easily become infected with it, and if you’ll be honest about it, some of you are infected with it. A few months ago during several weeks of personal study, I began to notice how much my life was and is affected by what I’m talking about today – the drive to be busy all the time: to live 24/7. Here are some ways you can tell whether you struggle with it.
· You constantly speed up your daily activities.
· You feel as though, and have even said that there aren’t enough hours in the day.
· When you’re nearing a stoplight, you look for the lane with the least number of cars and head toward it. If the lines are the same, you look for what should be the fastest cars in front of you. You use the same logic in the check out lane at the grocery store. If the lines are the same length you try to do a quick count of how much stuff is in each buggy before you choose your lane.
· You’re a multi-tasker. You have mastered the art of driving while doing other things, like putting on make-up, or like me, read while you drive.
· Do you find yourself eating meals over the kitchen sink, never taking time to sit down? Do you find yourself feeding your family more and more quick meals? Your refrigerator is stocked full of microwavable meals and pre-cooked foods because you just don’t have time for the others? Are you eating out more and more because you don’t have time or energy?
· Your home, office, or workspace is filled with clutter. Your life lacks simplicity.
· People praise you for the amount of hours you put in, or for all the projects you have going on at any given time.
· Your relationships are superficial. You never go very deep with people because you just don’t have the time.
· You find yourself unable to love. Love takes time, and you just don’t have it.
· You experience chronic “sunset fatigue.” Each evening you’re too tired, or too drained, or too preoccupied to give yourself fully to the most significant people in your life.
Do you see yourself in any of these? If you do – there’s good news. God never intended for you to live the fast paced, frantic lives that we seem to have chosen. He never intended for you to fill every waking moment of every day with constant activity. He never intended for our church to have something going on every night of the week that everyone had to attend. God did not build you or anyone else to run 24/7. It’s a burden or a load you were never built to carry. Consider Jesus for a moment – if there is a perfect model of living, a perfect model of scheduling anywhere in the Bible, it is Jesus – the one who created us. Think about busyness and hurry in Jesus’ life for a moment.