For Spring Break my wife and I decided to take a trip to Baltimore. The trip went great until the terrible weather on that Wednesday that cancelled flights.
Our Wednesday flight was cancelled after sitting on the runway for an hour. Then we had our flight rescheduled to the next day at another airport only to have that flight delayed six hours and then cancelled right at the boarding time.
On both days at both airports, emotions were high, the commotion was rampant and everything seemed to be going a million miles per minute. It is always said that hindsight is 20/20 and in my reflection of the events I found that in myself especially and those around that the hast and emotions of the moment debilitated us for a moment. I consider myself to be a pretty smart guy, but as things ramped up in the terminal, my thinking and strategizing became clouded.
This caused me to broaden my reflection to society in general. We live in a microwave, drive-thru, breaking news society we're our attention spans have been shortened to 27 minutes and decreasing more and more.
We seem to rush with everything.
Everything has to happen in a certain amount of time and we cram as much stuff as we can into a day as possible. Everything is a big rush. We rush to work, we rush to get home, we rush to soccer, we rush to church, we rush to eat, we rush to wake up, kids rush to grow up and we all rush to not be in the moment we're in. Sometimes it seems that things suffer due to the hast. It could range from any number of things from planning, integrity, and relationships and even time. In the words of the 1940's song "Fools Rush In."
King Solomon gave us the wisdom in proverbs that "... It is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who hurries his footsteps errs." (19:2), "The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to want." (21:5) "Do not hastily bring into court; for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?" (25:8)
In all of these verses he alludes to the fact that mistakes are made when we rush. Whether in our decision making, relationships or Financial matters, when we rush we run the risk of making mistakes. James admonishes us to be quick to listen and slow to speak and be angry. (1:19)
We also find that the book of Ecclesiastes give us some wisdom that seems a little counter- cultural for American society, but it is wisdom nonetheless where it tells us that the race is not given to the swift nor to the strong, but to the one that can endure till the end. Therefore, what's the purpose in the rush?
Every now and then we need to take a minute and breath. We need to slow down and think through things. Get all of the information and then make sound decisions. Sometimes we need to hurry up and wait. That will give us time to make level headed decision and have a clear and open mind on whatever the matter may be. This will also help us physically by reducing our stress levels and blood pressure levels.
A 2014 article in the Miami Herald quoted the American Psychological Association by saying "stress is linked to six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide." (www.miamihearld.com/living/article1961770.html) Moving at such high rates continuously can cause people to because more detached and lead to depression. This I believe is one of the major ideals that was instituted in Genesis with the Sabbath. It's all about balance.
When we hurry up and wait, we afford ourselves with a level of balance that will allow us to be healthy in every aspect and beneficial to ourselves as well as others. This week, take your time, don't rush so much and allow yourself a minute to reflect and gain as much wisdom as possible. Do good, do no harm and stay in love with God.
Rev. E. Chip Owens is a graduate of the Gammon Theological Seminary on the Historic Campus of the Interdenominational Theological Center. He has served as a Senior Pastor in the Covington Area. He is a well sought after preacher and Author that has had the pleasure of sharing the gospel nationwide.