A Cure for Stress
I recently found an amazing book, The Attentive Life : Discerning God’s Presence in All Things at the thrift store. This author shares a story of a young ministry leader who discovered he was moving so fast that his spiritual life was going down the drain. He desperately called his spiritual mentor, Dallas Willard for his counsel.
“Ruthlessly eliminate hurry,” was his advice.
The eager leader asked, “What’s next?”
Dallas replied, “There isn’t anything else.”
This has now been something I am trying to do in my own life. When I am in a hurry I always feel stressed out. Hurrying never brings peace to my heart, mind or life.
I noticed yesterday I was on the go the whole day, rushing from one store to another, one task to the next. I felt tightly wound. My shoulders were tight. I felt a dull ache coming in the base of my skull. This was the 2nd day in a row that my pace was like this. It was not til 1:00pm that I realized the unhealthy speed I was moving and decided to take 10 minutes of silence sitting outside under the trees. I choose to breathe deep while meditating on the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” It was helpful but I realized I need pockets of this throughout my day not just once. And not only that but I need to just slow things down. The world will not fall apart if I am late or decide to postpone an errand til tomorrow or the next week.
This morning I went out for a walk in my neighborhood. I like to take an extra long one on Saturday, our Sabbath (Slow Down and Catch Your Breath), our weekly day off of rest and delight. I found the first mile I was walking at a fast pace. That is not bad but I realized the purpose of this walk for me is peace not weight loss. I long for deep down soul peace far more than peace of mind over what the scale and mirror says. I believe the more peace I have in my soul the more at peace I will have with body image things. I decide to RUTHLESSLY ELIMINATE HURRY. I decide to stroll and enjoy this walk and all there is to see around me. Without hurry I can notice the brilliant red cardinal in the tree. I can watch the eagle soaring above me. The eagle is not hurrying. The eagle soars and glides. It effortlessly rides the wind. It makes adjustments to stay in the flow. I want to be like that eagle that stays in the flow and soars. Jesus never hurried. I want to be attentive and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and rest in God’s love and presence. I miss it when I hurry. I miss a lot of things when I hurry like the story my child wants to tell me, the artwork they want to show me, looking into their eyes when they speak, etc.
Once I read an article on how to be a more joyful mom and it said to stop hurrying your kids. That small thing has brought so much peace to our family. When I am snapping at them to hurry up and put their shoes on or to move faster it only exasberates things. It can often lead to me yelling then them crying. Hurrying just speeds up meltdowns for me and the kids.
Praying RUTHLESSLY ELIMIATE HURRY becomes a mantra for me and my family.