If your family is like mine, when you’re trying to shuffle the kids out the door, there’s a lot of chaos, bickering, barking, and frustration. And usually all our emotions jump into overdrive because we’re already running late and I’m trying to hurry.
That’s the keyword there: hurry.
I keep trying to do more than I can. I don’t give myself enough time to do what I want to do, and get frustrated that I’m late. I’m also easily distracted, which slows me down even more. Then I try to compensate by hurrying everyone along which feels a lot like pushing a rope as the kids take their sweet time (or at least it feels like they do).
When You Hurry, It’s Hard To Be Kind
A few weeks ago, Brant Hansen shared a few quotes from Dallas Willard on the Oddcast (the segment begins at 4:15):
“The fact is, if you’re hurried, you’re going to find it difficult to be kind.”
“You will carry anger with you if you’re in a hurry.”
“Hurry comes from a sense of trying to do more than we can get done. You will be frustrated.”
All three of those quotes really struck a chord with me. I started thinking about my attitude towards my kids when I felt hurried. Yes, I feel angry and frustrated. I’m definitely not kind. And it’s because I’m trying to do more than I can realisitcally do. My kids get to experience the consequences of my poor choice to squeeze too much into the time I have.
More Effects of Hurrying
I started looking into this more, and I found:
- People who are overly time-oriented have a greater risk of cardiovascular and other health problems than more patient individuals (PsychCentral).
- Hurrying leads to prolonged stress, which leads to an increased risk for high blood pressure (Healthline).
I also found a devotional on Bible.com that made some interesting points:
The philosopher Dallas Willard once called hurry “the great enemy of spiritual life in our day,” and urged followers of Jesus to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
…Corrie ten Boom once said that if the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy.
Her logic is sound: both sin and busyness have the exact same effect—they cut off our connection to God, to other people, and even to our own soul.
…The problem isn’t when you have a lot to do; it’s when you have too much to do, and the only way to keep the quota up is to hurry.
Choosing Not To Hurry
So this is what I’ve been working on lately: choosing not to hurry.
I’m trying to:
- Let things take longer than I expect and not worrying about the clock. It’s not worth the physical side effects and emotional distress to try to be faster.
- Prioritize the most important tasks on my to-do list for the day, even if it takes days, weeks, or even months to get to the others.
- Prioritize things that come up, like reading a book to my kids or spending time talking to my husband.
- Pray and ask God to help me slow down when I’m starting to feel hurried.
This is a big mindset shift for me, but I think it’s an important one!
Is this something you struggle with, too? Have you figured out any additional ways to step back from hurrying?