“I’m a recovering speed addict — and I don’t mean the drug,” writes Alan Fadling in his new book, An Unhurried Life. “I’m talking about the inner pace of my life. I always seemed to be in a hurry. I was the guy who looked for the fastest-moving lane on the freeway, the shortest checkout line at the grocery store and the quickest way to finish a job.”
I relate to Alan’s story. Probably either you or someone you love also relates. Alan and I have talked about the temptations of “hurry sickness” and how to live a more unhurried life.
Alan describes his first experience with intentionally slowing down in a seminary class he took years ago when he served as a college pastor. “Built into the course were a couple of day long retreats that gave me an extended time of solitude and silence with God. The first retreat provoked in me withdrawal-from-busyness symptoms rivaling those of drug addicts during their first week of rehab. I didn’t know what to do with myself if I wasn’t solving something, going somewhere or helping someone. The hurried pace of my life was exposed.
“There was nothing I could do at the retreat center except listen and no one I could be with except God himself.”
Unhurried with Jesus
Alan found his way into the peace of Christ and an unhurried life. Unhurried. Imagine living in our world today without being in a hurry. How does he do this? How did he get in Recovery from being a speed addict? He keeps recalibrating himself with regular EPC’s for “Extended Personal Communion” with Jesus. In his ministry to pastors and leaders he helps them to join him and live and lead others from a deep, abiding connection with the Lord.
Learning how to use Solitude and Silence with Jesus is the key to an unhurried life. One day when Alan and I were having coffee I told him about a recent conversation I had with Dallas Willard. Dallas had asked me, “If you had one word to describe Jesus, what would it be?”
Words started running through my mind and out my mouth: Love… Compassion… Holy… Lord… Teacher… Risen… Healer…
As he so often did in my conversations with him, Dallas waited in quiet for me to think. He was unhurried. I was drawn into his silent prayer. Finally, I asked him what his one word for Jesus was.
Relaxed? I bet that wasn’t the word you were thinking of either!
You can order a copy of An Unhurried Life on Alan Fadling’s website.