November 22, Sunday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Barry Kang who heads Symphony Church in Boston, is an updated version of his blog first posted on April 28, 2013.  He is a graduate of Stanford University (BA), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min.). 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“The Great Enemy of Spiritual Life? It’s not What You Think”

Mark 6:31

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 

Dallas Willard once gave this sage spiritual advice to young John Ortberg: “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.  Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day.”  Many of us suffer from what might be called “hurry sickness.”  Here are some symptoms to see:  When driving, you constantly switch back and forth between lanes to stay in the fastest lane; when cars pass you, you feel physically ill.  You catch yourself frustrated saying, “I wish I could do more for the church or for my spiritual life, but I just don’t have the time.”   Sometimes you are resentful of those who prevent/delay you from doing the next thing on your to-do list.   Additionally, you find it difficult to read this because you are wondering when I’ll get to the point!

For many of us, hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life.  God said, “Be still and know that I am God.”  But we find it difficult to be still!  Hurried and impatient, our minds and hearts race to the future and unable to rest in the present.  From my own experience, hurrying kills my capacity to experience and give love, whether it be to God or to other people.  

While being hurried is different from being busy (busyness is an outward condition caused by circumstances versus hurry which is an inward condition), nevertheless there is a correlation between the amount of things we schedule and hurry which enters our soul.   The problem is that our culture worships speed and efficiency.  We view positively at people who overschedule and overachieve as go-getters.   But Jesus asks, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).  

As we conclude this month’s theme of training vs. trying for righteousness, let me encourage you with this:  We must ruthlessly train the hurry out of our lives!  Let us consider ways to slow down our lives so that we can become more in tune with God.  

Prayer: Father, it is sometimes difficult to discern Your presence amid my hurriedness.  Lord, help me stop and enjoy You in the present moment.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 8

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