The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer. WaterBrook. 305 pages. 2019
This book is about the changes that the author, a Portland megachurch pastor, made after burning out at age 33. He wants us think of the book as meeting for coffee and him sharing everything he’s learned over the last few years from that experience. He writes about being an apprentice of Jesus, and states that if you want to experience the life of Jesus, you have to adopt the lifestyle of Jesus. We should take on his habits and practices. The author’s agenda for our time together is simple: to pass on some of the best things he’s learned from sitting at the feet of the master.
The author tells us that an over busy, hurried life of speed is the new normal in the Western world, and it’s toxic. A key quote, and where the title of the book comes from, is from Dallas Willard, who stated: “There is nothing else. Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
The author tells us that Jesus’ schedule was full, and yet he never came off hurried. The central question of our apprenticeship to Jesus is pretty straightforward: How would Jesus live if he were me?
The author shares four practices for unhurrying your life:
- Silence and Solitude
Among the topics covered in the book were distraction, limitations, choices, minimalism, multitasking, abiding and intentionality.
In our culture, busyness has become something that people are proud of. Ask someone how they are doing, and they will often say “Busy, really busy”. For that reason, this is an important book.
Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
- Both sin and busyness have the exact same effect—they cut off your connection to God, to other people, and even to your own soul.
- Hurry and love are incompatible.
- What you give your attention to is the person you become.
- What you fill your mind with will shape the trajectory of your character.
- All too often our hurry is a sign of something else. Something deeper.
- Sabbath is more than just a day; it’s a way of being in the world. It’s a spirit of restfulness that comes from abiding, from living in the Father’s loving presence all week long.
- Minimalism isn’t about living with nothing; it’s about living with less.
- The goal here is to live with a high degree of intentionality around what matters most, which, for those of us who apprentice under Jesus, is Jesus himself and his kingdom.