This Common American Ideal Only Steals Your Joy

You can easily miss what God is doing when you're doing this.
You can easily miss what God is doing when you're doing this. (Pixabay)

Most of us long for life to slow down. Maybe that's why so many of us want a home that looks like a farmhouse. We idealize a lifestyle led by a simple faith and daily routines, prompted by the rising and setting sun.

But I'll be honest, I'd have to have a farmhouse with good wifi. I'm not sure I could give up my electronic devices. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have a slight addiction to my laptop and smartphone. And by slight, I mean significant.

And I am still waiting for my smartphone to make me smarter. Somehow I just feel dumber when I enter an appointment on my phone, and it shows up on my computer—but not my phone. I can't figure it out. It's like they are in cahoots.

I think if we were all honest, we'd be miserable if things slowed down. We'd much rather things hurry up.

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The problem is that hurry is the enemy of what matters most in life.

We were designed to go at a slower pace, to ponder, to process thoughts one at a time. And when we try to go at computer speed, we miss out on what's important in life.

Hurry robs us of the beauty God has placed in front of us and the grace that others so desperately need. Hurry is also a tool Satan uses to undermine God's plan for us.

Jesus calls Satan a "thief" and warns us that he's out to steal and destroy everything good in our lives. In John 10:9-11, Jesus says, "I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."

Using hurry as a tool, Satan steals our contentment.

As someone who struggles with her weight, I'm always looking for a tip to help me lose a few pounds. One tip is to eat slowly. WebMD reports that it takes 20 minutes from the time we start eating for the brain to tell the stomach it's full. Until then, we will keep eating in order to experience that sensation of being full. And in that time, we will overeat.

What a profound parallel to our need for speed in other areas of our lives. Could slowing down give us the time to feel content with what we have?

When I'm in a hurry, I don't appreciate the beauty around me. My awareness of others is diminished by my increased focus on the goal. I miss the small details of life that bring me the most joy in my rush.

Contentment isn't found in the big splashes but in the gentle ripples.

Hurry isn't our friend in the most important areas of life. Neither relationships nor quality nor depth can be found when we hurry.

So the next time we feel that panic start to sneak in and push our gas pedal, let's pause and breathe deeply. Refuse to be rushed. Declare that hurry has no place in the good work you are doing or the beautiful life God has placed before you.

Reprinted with permission from Excerpt from Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God's Gift of Work and Rest by Glynnis Whitwer. Glynnis Whitwer is executive director of communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries and contributor to their Encouragement for Today devotional, reaching over a million women each day. She's the author of nine other books, including Taming the To-Do List and I Used to Be So Organized. She and her husband, Tod, live in Arizona and have five young-adult children. Connect with Glynnis at where she encourages women to live with margin and room to breathe while still getting things done.

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