By Rodetta Cook

Rodetta Cook has been a pastor’s wife for over 40 years. She and her husband, Ron, have actively served the Lord together in ministry during the entire time and are co-founders of Care for Pastors. She understands the expectations, loneliness and how hard it is to find balance in ministry as a pastor’s wife. Rodetta also leads the pastor’s wives initiative at Care for Pastors called The Confidante and ministers to hundreds of wives each week. She strives to share blogs with other pastors’ wives that will help them in their ministry walk.

    The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

    Monday, December 27, 2021

    I have been made aware of a book that has changed several personal friends of mine who are in ministry and I would like to share it with you today. I am reading it and can tell it is going to be a life-changer. The reason I know that is because I am always in a hurry and need to learn to slow down.

    Below is part of the forward written by John Ortberg that will give you a glimpse into this book.

    “The smartest and best man I have ever known jotted down some thoughts about hurry; I think they were posted in his kitchen when he died. “Hurry,” he wrote, “involves excessive haste or a state of urgency. It is associated with words such as hurl, hurdle, hurly-burly (meaning “uproar”), and hurricane.” He defined it as a “state of frantic effort one falls into in response to inadequacy, fear, and guilt.” The simple essence of hurry is too much to do! The good of being delivered from hurry is not simply pleasure but the ability to do calmly and effectively—with strength and joy—that which really matters. “We should take it as our aim,” he wrote, “to live our lives entirely without hurry. We should form a clear intention to live without hurry. One day at a time. Trying today.”

    We should form a mental picture of our place in the world before God. This places us in a different context. Psalm 23 does not say “The Lord is my shepherd, therefore I gotta run faster.” Shepherds rarely run. Good ones, anyway. He said to begin to eliminate things you “have” to do. He said it was important to not be afraid of “doing nothing.” He said to plan on such times. He said it would be important to deal with the panic of not being busy. To allow yourself to be in the panic, feeling it roll over you, and not going for the fix. 

    John Mark Comer has written a prophetic word for our day. He is engaging and honest and learned and fun and humble. He guides us to a great crossroads. To choose to live an unhurried life in our day is somewhat like taking a vow of poverty in earlier centuries; it is scary. It is an act of faith. But there are deeper riches on the other side.

    I was struck by the gifts of wisdom studded throughout this book: “All my worst moments…are when I’m in a hurry.” “Love, joy, and peace…are incompatible with hurry.” The average iPhone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times a day.” (By way of contrast, the psalmist said, “I have set the LORD always before me” (Psalm 16:8 ESV) What would my life be like if God touched my mind as frequently as I touch my phone? Freedom perhaps never comes without real cost. And John Mark is someone who has made choices that involved a price, to pursue the life that is beyond price. He knows both the struggle and the choice, and so can speak to those of us who hunger and thirst.

    This gives you a small glimpse of what you will learn from this book. It is a book pastors and spouses should have on their shelves. We get so caught up in the “doing” of ministry that we seem to always be in a hurry. We also get so caught up in technology that we miss out on so much. Can you believe that the average iPhone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day? Wow! That should get our attention!

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