Why the Hurry?

For academics, there always seem to be too few hours in the day.

We wake up to phone alerts and incoming email chimes. We eat while working at our desks and rushing to activities. We frantically try to balance the demands of our professional and personal lives, and the line between them blurs. We must hurry, right?

Must we?

Recently, I was listening to an audiobook, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, by John Comer. It was a Sunday after church, and while I was listening, I was also painting my laundry room – with a notebook on the dryer to write down a list of things I needed to do next week; I felt like a multi-tasking champion! Then, the author hit me with a concept so foreign to my Western thinking and academic self-image that it stopped me in my tracks.

Jesus didn’t hurry.

Stop and let that soak in.

Unhurried, Jesus was intentional in the way He took time to connect and reflect.

As a follower of Jesus, I have the privilege of learning from Him. How did I miss this incredibly powerful action?!

  • Jesus stopped to have meaningful interactions with people.

  • Jesus responded in the moment to those in need.

  • Jesus set aside time for meaningful prayer and reflection.

  • Have I?

Thinking it would be a matter of margin, I set out to hurry less. Time management. But I discovered time management was not the problem; it was my mindset. I had made a habit of hurry. Always feeling the pressure of the next to-do, walking around with knots in my shoulders, I realized changing a mindset is harder than changing a calendar app! I was repeatedly tempted to return to my habit of hurry.

Over the months, I intentionally followed Jesus’ example. What did I learn? God is in control. In every situation. He is faithful in the big and small things. He uses me when I slow down to see the world through His lens. To listen to people with grace and mercy. To be His hands and feet, loving others as He commanded us to love them.

Even at the cost of my time, to-do list, a delay in submitting a paper, or asking for a review extension, my reward is peace of mind, full presence with those in my sphere of control, and fewer knots in my shoulders. My children are calmer because I’m not hurrying them. My students leave my office a little less stressed than when they arrived.

This doesn’t mean handing control of my time to others. Taking our cues from Jesus, he didn’t hesitate to clearly communicate boundaries on his time (Luke 4:42-44). Also, urgency is sometimes necessary, but I find I have the mental margin to better handle urgent situations.

Habits are hard to change, and I’m still working on my hurry habit. Jesus provides the ultimate example of how we are to live. If Jesus didn’t hurry, how can I do any differently?

Amy Hagerman

Agricultural Economics

Oklahoma State University

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