Caution: The “Hurry Sickness” is alive and well in our church and society! Just watch at how people, young and old, zoom in and out of St. Arbucks as they get their morning (or afternoon) brew. As we watch with wonder from our coffee perch, we can sense the adrenalin oozing through the drive-thru line, the order pick up line, and even while people are ordering their special treat the usual way. The “Hurry Sickness” is also evident before and after worship as folks (including myself!) watch their watches to make sure we are “out” in an hour, to hurry a spouse from visiting after the service so we can “go”. And on and on.
Yes, I confess, that I am a recovering “Hurry Sickness” specimen! That is why I am so pleased that in Dick Koehneke’s article this month, he shares some excellent ideas and reflections on “White Space: The Strategic Pause”. If you haven’t already read his column, please do so now. My article can wait!
Larry Dossey, in his book, “Space, Time, and Medicine”, says, “Just as Pavlov’s dogs learned to salivate inappropriately, we have learned to hurry inappropriately. Our sense of urgency is set off, not by a real need to act quickly, but through learned cues.” Our “bells” have become the internet, texts, iPhones, and the hundreds of self-inflicted expectations that we build into our daily routine, including our morning St. Arbucks! The subliminal message is : “Time is running out, life is running down; please hurry!”
It is easy to catch this illness. There is so much to do, so many people to see, so many things to “get ready” for, and on and on. Luther was correct when he said, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” (Okay, so he didn’t say this, but he should have!). Lily Tomlin said it this way, “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat!” The “Hurry Sickness” is a metaphor for all those illnesses brought on by stress, expectations, worrying about failing, and constant pressure. Do we get stressed out because we are stuck in traffic? Do we drive carelessly because we are running late? Do we count the number of items the person has in front of us in a line that says “Express line – 8 items only?” Do we finish each other’s’ sentences? Do we skip a meal to “save time”? Do we “go bananas” when someone is late? Me too!
I feel like the Charlie Brown cartoon that shows Lucy telling Charlie what is wrong with him. When Charlie asks Lucy “What can I do about it?”, she simply says, “I don’t have the answers, my job is only to point out the problem!”
Here again is where Dick Koehneke’s article in this month’s Rich and Charlie Resources is so valuable to us. I also know that Psalm 46:10 continues to be a gem for me: “Be still and know that I am God”. I don’t always “take the time” to hear this, but I do know in faith that the Lord is there attempting to calm the storms in my life and provide the faith and trust so that I can “let go” of my hurried pace. He also sends caring and forgiving people into my life to help me to “remember the Sabbath”, to lighten me up, and to calm me down.
Perhaps you do not have the “Hurry Sickness”. Hooray! You then can help to bring comfort and reassurance to us who are infected. And as for us “Hurry Sickness” folks, and even us contagious ones, let us help one another to connect with the younger and the older in our lives who can settle us down and re-assure us that the Lord who calms the seas can also bring calm to our lives.
And this is what’s brewing at St. Arbucks this morning! Pardon me, now, I have to get in line for my favorite brew!