Hurry Up!

by Joan C Webb on August 24, 2011

Tired of the constant media-message to hurry up and accomplish more?

Ralph Keyes, author of Timelock: How Life Got So Hectic and What You Can Do About It, suggests that “we plan life, not time” so our daily lives can become less frenetic. He believes that deciding what we want most from life and weeding out activities that detract from our goals will help us feel more balanced.

You only have one earthly life. So do I. I don’t know about you, but this reality can give me a super-urgency to rush to make a difference. I think sometimes I’ve believed that God wants me to do more, be more, and make a bigger splash for Him. I certainly don’t want to be lazy.

Yet today I’m contemplating the possibility that God does not push us (me) to fill every moment of this life with planned activity. That gets so exhausting and blah-producing. I think I sense Him encouraging me to┬ábe discerning and to handle my minutes, hours, and days with wisdom, gratitude, and compassion.

David, the national leader/military officer/writer/musician/husband/father/friend and all-around imperfect guy asked God to “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

Lord, like David, I long for a heart of wisdom. I’m tired of rushing to achieve more, yet getting farther behind. Teach me to wisely balance my days as we plan my life together.

Just wondering: Am I the only one who often feels perpetually behind?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

AbbyA August 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I feel perpetually behind A LOT of the time. If I spend more time with my kids, then I am behind with work. If I decide not to work in the evening and spend it with my husband, I feel like I am behind when I set out to work in the morning. Ugh. Keyes quote is meaningful – We really do have to plan life. It’s all I got and the one thing I will have to answer to when I see my Lord face to face. I really don’t want to look back and see that I have run the rat race and not too much more. Even David, who appears to have worn more hats that I/you do, got it right – Number the days for His glory. Thanks Joan!

Pam C in Canada August 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I’m constantly behind! Of course, a lot of it is myself – I like to make things, and geez louise if I can’t stay focused on one thing to actually finish it (even though it’s a big pet peeve of mine!)…..

I try to stay ahead, but it only works for a little – it’s one of those constant things, you gotta keep doing it to stay caught up.

Thanks for the reminder to slow down some!

Melinda Lancaster August 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

No, you’re not the only one. I can relate to this post & it leaves me thinking.

Thanks, Joan.

Joan C. Webb August 26, 2011 at 8:57 am

Hi AbbyA, I appreciate your comments. It reminds me of the push/pull I often experience. I’ve discussed it with God lately and He and I are interacting on how I can learn to see it more as an BOTH/AND. Instead of depressing me that gives me a little more hope. I realize I’ll not get EVERYTHING done; I’m not God! :-) But learning to balance DOING with rest and quiet and relationships is what I want to do. Wow, you got me to thinking…thanks!

Joan C. Webb August 26, 2011 at 9:00 am

Ahhh, Pam, yes…. let’s both keep learning to slow down some. Reminders are good. Thanks for responding.

Joan C. Webb August 26, 2011 at 9:04 am

Hi Melinda! Greetings from across the miles. Thinking of you.
And wondering–since you wrote “leaves me thinking”…whatcha thinking? :-)
No need to respond, Melinda. I’m just teasing. Still wondering and caring, but asking you to write more here would be like asking you to hurry and DO something. Ha! And I’m not gonna do that… Hugs!

tentmaker September 15, 2011 at 6:19 am

Hi Joan!
found your blog once again…
yup, i too often feel trribly behind. and mostly it’s because i listen to people’s expectations and evaluations way too much.
i graduated from college recently and my friends and teachers were telling me it’s so cool that i’m so young and graduated and have a freedom and time to do many things. but as soon as i get home, i’m always expected to be more sufficient, more accomplished, more mature, act more older, and it always leaves me feeling behind.
this summer one woman was praying for me and she said God is happy with me just becaiuse i am his child and i dont need to do anything to please him, that he doesnt have all those expectations. that was powerful stuff she said but i’m kinda scared to believe it for real.

Shary September 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I spent almost all my 66 years feeling behind. What had I accomplished that everyone thought I would? NOthing! So I decided to be a “late bloomer.” And the faster I went, the “behinder” I got. Then I tried scheduling. I spent so much time scheduling I didn’t get much done, and it only made me feel down on myself for (a) not meeting it or (b) not having time for others because I had to stick to my schedule. Then I got the answer in my twelve-step program: Ask God in the morning, “What are the most important things you want me to do today?” Answers came: ” Love Me with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and everyone else as yourself. Be patient, kind, compassionate, understanding. Be still and know I am God. Worship Me in spirit and in truth. Love my persecutors and enemies. Weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice. Trust Me. Thank Me. Rejoice in everything. Praise Me in everything. Drink the cup of salvation. Come to Me for comfort. Repent and accept forgiveness. Forgive others. Give to others. Forsake anger, judgment, pride, fear, gossip, envy… ”
I realized I wasn’t DOING much. In fact, I was sitting a LOT, reading His Word, praying, doing both of these with close Christian friends and mentors. Then “BINGO!” the light came on. It wasn’t about DOING as much as it was about BEING what He wanted me to be. Gulp. That took a lot of work. But it was futile, I couldn’t do it–or be it, rather. No, it didn’t take work, it took a lot of surrender. “Take My yoke upon you…” So I started praying: “Your goals, not mine, Lord.” “Your will in this, not mine.” “You can help them, I can’t, so please solve their problems.” Every morning I started crossing things off my list I thought I should do to “save” others and started praying for them instead, and lo and behold I later found out how God had worked things out in them and for them–all without me! So my list dwindled down to a few do-able things–for myself! for my husband! I finally had some time.
What should I do with it? It was kind of exciting and kinda scary..Then I learned in twelve step programs to “Ask God what is the next best thing you want me to do right now?” Wow–He became my Director. Sometimes the answer was to do something small like clean out a drawer or make something special for my husband, and sometimes it was big, like start a project or submit to my husband. When I remember to pray for His help it always goes amazingly well) and I pray it will glorify Him and bless someone, which always ends up in blessing me. Many times it was some way to take care of me (read the Bible, take a walk or nap or bath, clean my desk or my flowerbeds, do handwork, write a 4th step ..). Sometimes He led me to send a note of appreciation or Bible verse and I’d find out later it was just what that person needed; sometimes it was to call someone just to say “Hi I miss you and like you and by the way God loves you, too.”
The miracle is, I don’t feel behind at all! Everything is being done “in God’s timing, not mine,” and everything is “the way it’s supposed to be.” I love my life. I don’t have all the material things others have, but then I don’t have the distraction of them or the feeling I have to take care of a whole bunch of stuff either. It feels like I’m at a beautiful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of what I used to think was “real life” but was actually the opposite–it was pretend life, artificial, made up by my fears and imagination of what others expected of me and some vague idea of what I expected of myself. But it was so empty and not real life at all. Jesus said, “I came to give life and give it abundantly.” How true that is when I keep my eyes, mind, and heart on Him.
The full version of the Serenity Prayer says, “Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time.” God’s Word tells me over and over to “Rejoice”, particularly to “Rejoice (in this day God has made) and be glad in it.” With His help and blessing, I can choose to do that more and more often, and when I do, the day becomes something I can rejoice over when I say my gratitude prayers at night. What a gracious God!
Thank you, Joan. I wouldn’t have realized how much God has turned my life around if I hadn’t read this and started writing. God bless you.

Joan C. Webb October 8, 2011 at 12:51 am

Hi Tentmaker, thanks for joining into this blog post and commenting. I know we’ve connected here before. First, congratulations on your accomplishment of graduating from college. No doubt, you worked quite hard and consistently in order to reach that goal. I celebrate you. :-)
And by the way, I agree with the woman you talked with this summer. God doesn’t have unrealistic expectations of you or for you. He smiles at you–and He delights in you when you are being you–the person He designed you to be.
If nothing or no one stood in your way, what would you like to do and be?

Joan C. Webb October 8, 2011 at 1:50 am

Oh, wow, Shary! What a beautiful story of your learning to “be” and love and ask God and partner with Him and enjoy the moment. I loved it when I read your statement “I love my life.” I’m smiled and then I just kept smiling as I continued to read your story. Thank you so much for sharing. And I’m mellowed and grateful that reading the blog and responding with your own story helped you “see” the many ways you’ve changed. If you could see my face, you’d see the smile. :-)

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