I just finished The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows by James Bryan Smith. It addresses many of the false narratives we’ve created or learned about God and replaces those with truth from God's word.
In the last chapter, he addresses how we as Americans live so much of our life in a hurry.
We live under the “tyranny of the urgent.” This gives birth to the modern obsession with multitasking, doing more than one thing at a time. The mantra of our achievement-oriented world is, “You are only as valuable as what you produce.” This leads to the narrative that what we produce determines our value, and therefore the more we produce the more valuable we are.
We can be sure God does not call us to be overcommitted. We do it to ourselves by following the dominant narrative that success and achievement are more important than the well-being of our souls.
In a lifetime today’s average
• six months sitting at traffic lights
• eight months opening junk mail
• one year searching through desk clutter
• two years trying to call people who are not in
three years in meetings
• five years waiting in lines
In a single day an average American will
• commute forty-five minutes
• be interrupted seventy-three times
• receive six hundred advertising messages
• watch four hours of television
In our spiritual life we cannot do anything important in a hurry. When we are in a hurry—which comes from overextension—we find ourselves unable to live with awareness and kindness. Fortunately, God never calls us, as Richard Foster likes to say, “into a life of panting feverishness.” If we are overcommitted and in a hurry, we may feel like we’re being especially effective and that God is therefore proud of us. God knows quite well that our distracted and encumbered lives pull us away from the one thing we need the most.
So what is the one thing we need the most?
One more hour on the job?
One more activity?
One more work out?
One more cookie?
One more tv show?
Jesus tells us in Luke 10 and John 15. The ONE thing we need is . . . Him. Sitting at His feet, listening, and abiding.
Let’s make this year a year of slowing down. Let’s commit to doing less so that we may know Him more.
A sitting silently at the feet of Jesus is of more worth than all the clatter of Martha’s dishes. - CH Spurgeon