In 2013 I attended a small spiritual formation conference in Santa Barbara California. At that gathering of about 300 I heard John Ortberg repeat a story he had written about his book; The Life You’ve Always Wanted.
Not long after moving to Chicago, I called a wise friend to ask for some spiritual direction. I described the pace at which things tend to move in my current setting. I told him about the rhythms of our family life and about the present condition of my heart, as best I could discern it. What did I need to do, I asked him, to be spiritually healthy?
“You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life,” he said at last. Another long pause.
“OK, I’ve written that one down,” I told him, a little impatiently. “That’s a good one. Now what else is there?” I had many things to do, and this was a long distance conversation, so I was anxious to cram as many units of spiritual wisdom into the least amount of time possible.
Another long pause.
“There is nothing else,” he said. “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
By the way, as the story was being retold, I learned that Dallas Willard, who also spoke at that Santa Barbara gathering, was the “wise friend” who had advised Ortberg to be “ruthless” with any hurry he found in his life. Willard died a little more than 2 months later at the age of 78.
- Why do older men and women consistently tell younger men and women to slow down? What do they want to pass on?
- Why do we all need to be connected to wise, loving mentors?
- What had Dallas Willard observed during his time of life and ministry that led him to give such a stern warning?
- What is the difference between being extremely busy and being hurried?
- What is there about hurry that deserves an immediate and “ruthless” response?