In his book An Unhurried Life Alan Fadling writes, “If you had one word to describe Jesus, what would it be?” He then goes on to say, “Relaxed”.
I have to admit I have never thought of Jesus as relaxed, but then as I read through so many of his stories, through that lens, I realized that this word fits him perfectly.
Imagine Jesus anxious, or worried, or running behind because he was late for an appointment! I think we know in our heads that Jesus was always on time, and never in a hurry, there’s even a few songs about it. But do we really realize that he was modeling the best life for us? Have we been able to translate his life to ours?
In our series, “Simplify: Living in the Rhythms of Jesus” we began to unpack this unhurried, simple life that Jesus showed us.
Think about it, he was in no hurry to start his ministry. He told his brothers it wasn’t his time, (John 7:4-6) He was in no rush to heal the synagogue leader’s daughter, (Mark 5:22-43) And perhaps the most famous stories of Jesus modeling of an unhurried life, was in the death of his friend Lazarus, where Jesus delayed two days before reaching him. (John 11:1-43)
As the new year begins, many of us have made commitments to change something in our lives. I hear the word “simplify” the most. It has become a movement of sorts, with Tiny Homes, and smaller spaces all the rage, we seem to have a cultural shift in living a simpler life. One that can slow down to enjoy the simple things, rather than racing to our deaths.
John Ortberg states, “…hurry is not just a disordered schedule. Hurry is a disordered heart.” As with all things, life change begins with a mind shift. A different way of thinking. Hebrew people would call this, “Tearing down the high places” or “having a change of heart.”
As we move toward this life change of living simple and unhurried, we must start with a fundamental change of heart. De-cluttering your life is not simply cleaning out your closets, it is cleaning out your mind. It is allowing yourself time to sit and think and contemplate, and meditate. It is unplugging, and musing on the mysterious. It is catching the first rays of the day, and taking in the last moments of a sunset. It is so many things that require nothing of you, just moments of…sit.
Think about it, many of us are uncomfortable with just sitting, we must be doing something. DOING things has become a habit, it gives us our identity. We are embarrassed when we are doing nothing. So we tell ourselves that in order to really matter, we must be busy about something.
Consider Mary and Martha. Martha was busy “doing” Mary was enjoying Jesus. (Luke 10:38-42) This is fun to teach on, but rather hard to implement.
Please don’t think that I am suggesting that we sit all day and accomplish nothing, an unhurried, simple life is just the opposite. When we take time to slow down, we actually become more productive! Don’t sprint past Jesus when we are supposed to be walking with him.
What takes up most of your mind space? Are you able to de-clutter your mind by taking time to enjoy the things around you right now? Do you find yourself always in a rush, late, or running behind? Perhaps the de-cluttering of our minds will enable us to live a more productive, healthy lifestyle. Jesus seemed to think so. (Matthew 11:28-30)
How are you de-cluttering this year? Look around you. What are some things that you can release? Once you have been able to de-clutter your mind, the rest of your life will become simpler, more healthy, and in actuality, more productive!