This concept of wellness seems to be following me wherever I go.
Most recently, I was the beneficiary of the inspiring Rev. Wes Mullins of the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis. Even though I am a member of Central Reform Congregation, I also attend services at MCCGSL and invariably walk away with more wisdom than I entered with. Too much faith can’t be a bad thing.
Rev. Wes gave a compelling sermon on the Five Signs of Hurry Sickness. He based his teaching on the book The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg. I credit Mr. Ortberg and Rev. Wes with the materials for this post and the lessons learned. Thank you.
The first sign is Constantly Speeding Up Daily Activities
We feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day so we try to do things faster and easily become impatient when we have to wait.
How many times do we do something just to get it done and then have to take more time to re-do it? Let’s hear it for thoughtfully doing things the right way instead of the fast way.
We are a society that believes pushing the elevator button more than once will get it there more quickly than with just one push.
The second is Multi-Tasking
We do or think about more than one thing at a time, packing as much into our day (and our minds) as possible.
You’re with your family at a park, the sun is out and your children are doing things that are joyful or dangerous. How would you know? Your attention is focused on your cell phone. You might miss a very critical e-mail that certainly could never wait until Monday.
Your spouse is telling you about her very awful, terrible day and you say, “Hang on, let me just take this one text.” Not exactly adult abuse, but not destined to make a good relationship.
Things are simple. Stuff accumulates. We get weighed down by things we failed or refused to do.
Sure I’d be glad to arrange the teacher appreciation lunch, the after prom party, the PTO coffee, and the office happy hour. After all, no one else can do it as well as I can. Or can they?
And have you seen the top of your desk lately?
We trade wisdom for information and exchange depth for breadth.
How often do we take the time to ask someone in our lives how they are doing vs. where they are off to and who did they see?
The guy in the office next door has a lot to offer in the way of sage advice. Don’t stop with, “How about those Cards?”
Finally, Sunset Fatigue
By day’s end, we are too tired, drained or preoccupied to receive spiritual love or give it to the most meaningful people in our lives.
None of us got where we are alone. We have so many people to be grateful to. When was the last time you actually called, wrote a real thank you note or stopped by to see some of them?
This summer, I had to cancel my trip to Maine. I journeyed instead to Kansas City where my long-time friend Alice now resides. We had a wonderful lunch with her daughter and her husband. We reminisced about the good old days. I will always cherish Alice and slowing down gave me a chance to see her and tell her that.
What to do? Try these simple steps. They just might help your hurry sickness. I know they’ve helped mine.
Some Ideas to Practice Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
- Drive in the slow lane.
- Declare a fast from honking.
- Eat slowly for a week.
- Get in the longest line at the grocery store.
- Let someone in front of you.
- De-clock your life!
- Cell phones…not actually one of your cells! You can ignore it.
Good luck on your slow adventure!