For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
~Ecclesiastes 3:1, NLT
“You need to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
I like the NLT’s tranlation of the Hebrew word chephets. This is not an easy word to translate: the AV translates it nine different ways: purpose, pleasure, desire, delight, acceptable, delightsome, matter, pleasant and willingly. The AV translates it four different ways in Ecclesiastes: purpose, pleasure, matter and acceptable. The NASB translates it ‘event’ whereas the NLT, NIV, Holman and NET use the word ‘activity.’ The ESV and RSV translate it ‘matter.’
- A time for every matter…
- A time for every event…
- A time for every purpose…
- A time for every activity…
I like ‘activity’ because it fits the context. Birth and death are certainly events and so or the others I suppose but planting, harvesting, killing, healing, tearing down, building, crying, laughing, grieving, dancing, gathering stones, throwing stones, tearing, mending, speaking, listening, loving, hating are all activities. Remember what Solomon said in Chapter two…Nothing that I had worked for and earned meant a thing to me, because I knew that I would have to leave it to my successor, and he might be wise, or he might be foolish – who knows?...So I came to regret that I had worked so hard. You work for something with all your wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and then you have to leave it all to someone who hasn’t had to work for it. It is useless, and it isn’t right! You work and worry your way through life, and what do you have to show for it? As long as you live, everything you do brings nothing but worry and heartache. Even at night your mind can’t rest. It is all useless.
Willard also said, “In order to eliminate hurry you’ll need to practice Sabbath. Regularly, you need to set aside a large block of time to be unhurried and unproductive. Do nothing. Don’t try to make anything happen. Relax. Pray. Enjoy God and your family. Somebody suggested it’d be a good idea to do this one day a week!” I heard a preacher say the other day, “Don’t try to read the bible in a year, slow down and read it in two years.” I agree and disagree. If you’ve never read the bible through, I suggest you get a schedule and read it through in a year. Do this perhaps once or twice than slow down. When reading God’s word becomes a fixed passion, slow down. I have read the bible through twice in one year but Willard’s teaching got to me several years ago and I slowed down. He recommends that we read the gospels every quarter and the N.T. more than the old.
I do get the point: Jesus never hurried and we must resist this temptation also. Hurry will rob you of the pleasure of living. When Doctor Schroeder told me that my phrenic nerve was paralyzed, I responded with a wise crack: “I’m not shocked, I live in the frantic mode.” I heard frantic when he said phrenic. I’m sure that you know what frantic means–wild with anxiety and fear and very close to panic. God doesn’t want us to be in a panic mode. It is not good for us nor those around us. In Crossfire trail Joe Gill tells young J.T.–Slow down there. Take your time. You‘ll get a more harmonious outcome.” Dr. Jack Taylor once said, “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do in take a nap.” Being in a hurry is a hindrance to ministry and it will destroy our quiet time. There is more to life than being busy.
I am a Type-A and I am hyper. I tell folks, “I was born in a hurry.” According to my mother, I was born in a hurry. I can’t take any credit for my slower pace; I’m sure age is a big factor but the GRACE of God is the greater factor. As Solomon taught us in Ecclesiastes–Our life here on earth is restricted by time and between birth and death, there is ceaseless activity. If we are not careful, we can get so caught up in the activity that we forget that life is a gift from God and is meant to be enjoyed.
The fish fry went well. I want to thank and commend my helpers: Daryl and Tina Jones and Ray and Darlene Williams. I could not have done this without their help. We had 29 total which is by far the best attendance lately. I was absolutely wasted when I got home so I showered and relaxed: studied a little and went to bed early. I intended to get up early but that didn’t happen. I hope you have a great weekend. I hope you enjoy rain.
My cousin Karen is slightly better but still in critical condition. Karen on the left and husband David on the right.