Summary: Don’t let the stresses and worries of life get you down. Trust in the greater power.
That’s Not A Knife
I remember in one of my college classes reading about an expert testimony concerning time management that was presented to a Senate sub-committee in 1960. These experts said that because of advances in technology, within twenty years or so, people would be working shorter work weeks, or taking more vacations, or retiring sooner. The concern and challenge, according to the experts of the sixties, was what people in our generation would do with all of their free time.
I’m sure all of you are struggling right now with all your free time, right? In reality, most of us wish there were two or three of us or feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day. You’re trying to squeeze in all of the things you have scheduled and always rushing here and there.
A while back, I read the story of Tattoo, the basset hound. Tattoo didn’t intend to go for an evening run, but when his owner shut his leash in the car door and took off for a drive, Tattoo had no choice. A motorcycle officer named Terry Filbert noticed a passing vehicle with something that appeared to be dragging behind it. As he passed the vehicle, he saw Tattoo. Officer Filbert finally chased the car to a stop, and Tattoo was rescued -- but not before the dog reached a speed of twenty to twenty-five miles per hour and rolled over several times. He has not asked to go out for an evening walk for a long time.
For too many of you, your life feels just like that. Rush, rush, hurry, hurry. And sometimes you’re rolled and drug. The only difference between you and Tattoo is this: You have chosen your predicament.
I think most of us could dramatically improve the quality of our lives if we could somehow find a way to slow down. But this is not easy because most of us suffer from the highly contagious and often undiagnosed disease of “hurry sickness”.
Hurry Sickness: "the continuous struggle to accomplish or achieve more and more things or participate in more and more events in less and less time.
There is a song by the country group Alabama that says it pretty well: "I’m in a hurry to get things done, I rush and rush until life’s no fun, all I’ve really got to do is live and die but I’m in a hurry and I don’t know why."
We may not know why, but I’ll give you some symptoms of hurry sickness. You complain you don’t have enough hours in the day. At a stoplight, you get into the lane with the fewest cars. And if they don’t move the second the light turns green, you’re layin’ on the horn.
You use the same theory at the grocery store checkout lines, choosing the line with the fewest carts or the ones with the least number of items in their carts. And you fret and stew because some “idiot” got something without a price on it and the cashier needs a “price check”. So you’re blood pressure goes up as you move to another line.
Another symptom is “multi-tasking”. While driving you put on makeup, eat, drink, shave, talk on the phone, read the paper, and make those special gestures to other drivers who are going too slow in front of you. All because you don’t have enough time.
If you see yourself in any of these situations, well then, my friend, you have hurry sickness. The good news is, you’re not alone. The Bible is very clear that when Jesus was on this earth He dealt with every type of temptation that you and I go through on a daily basis. And there is clear evidence that Jesus Himself was tempted with hurry-sickness.
Think about it. Imagine having the power to perform physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Everywhere Jesus went people demanded something of him. People chase him to the other side of the lake and bring people on mats for a healing. But over and over in the Bible, Jesus refused to be in a hurry. He just wouldn’t give in to it.
Running for a Jewish person was considered socially impolite behavior. A person running was both rare and unusual. The prodigal son’s father ran to meet him. The women ran from the tomb to the city. Peter and John ran back to the tomb. The people in our scripture ran to the other side.
Jesus is never mentioned as running, or even hurrying. Even when his good friend, Lazarus, was dying, he didn’t hurry.
One of the worst effects of this hurrying lifestyle is stress. The more we hurry, the more we get stuck in long lines, the more we get stuck behind people doing “the mall walk”, the more we worry about what we feel we must get done, the higher our stress level rises. We get “stressed out”.