Think about the overwhelming number of responsibilities and obligations that we, especially in western culture, manage to cram into each day. This culture of hurry that we have created is not bringing us closer to God. It is pulling us further away from Him.
HURRIED IS NOT URGENT!
God wants us all to have a sense of urgency, not hurry, about living the life He created us for. Jesus modeled this urgent lifestyle flawlessly. He knew that there was a mission that He had been sent to accomplish, and that His time was limited to do so. We see this emphasized in the John 4, when Jesus refused to stop and eat as He saw the opportunity to reap a harvest of souls in a Samaritan village.
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest…” So when the Samaritans came to him…because of his words many more became believers (John 4:30-35, 40-41 NIV)
Jesus’ sense of urgency allowed Him to recognize this as a divine moment that God had orchestrated. He saw an opportunity to do exactly what God sent Him to do.
Jesus was never hurried. He was flexible, present, and sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. His eternal mission was His focus. His apostles were hurried. They were preoccupied with the cares of life. They were diligently, and probably with good intentions, trying to manage numerous tasks and obligations. That is why Jesus’ response to the situation was completely different than that of the apostles. All other cares faded into the background, as He knew He was right in the center of His Father’s will, ready to minister to the Samaritans. As a result, an entire community heard the gospel. And, by the way, nobody died of starvation.
This is a convicting revelation for me.
I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to using busyness as a badge of honor. I can fill up my schedule with positive and productive things, as if those things will establish my sense of identity and self-worth. Then, I get so hurried with life that I lose sight of the reason why I set out to do those things in the first place. Sometimes I have trouble focusing on anything, because my attention is divided across more responsibilities than I can count. This is not what it looks like to live with urgency!
Related Post: Wait Just a Minute
Living with urgency is much simpler. It looks like this:
- Spend time in God’s presence getting to know Him
- Allow Him to establish your identity and reveal your purpose
- Ask Him what things to devote your time and energy to that are aligned with that purpose
- Diligently pursue those things, trust Him with the process and watch as His peace covers you
- Be flexible and be sensitive to promptings from the Holy Spirit as you go throughout your day
I realize everything that I just listed is easier said than done, but it really is the simple process of relationship and obedience that Jesus modeled for us.
Did He have a full schedule sometimes? Of course. Were there more people that wanted His attention than He had time to see? Absolutely! But none of those things drew Him off course. He was never overwhelmed or hurried to the point where He lost His focus and stepped outside of His mission.
The number one goal that I try to establish in my life is to look more like Jesus every day. In 2018, more specifically, I want to develop Jesus’ sense of urgency. I don’t want hurry and busyness to increase as I try to accomplish every good opportunity that pops up. I want peace to increase as I embrace every urgent, God-ordained opportunity that presents itself.