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Are You Choosing Hurry Sickness or Rest for Your Soul?

Today, our very own Gabby Terry reminds us of the life God has called us to, and it's not a race to the finish.
In 1986, these wise words were spoken on the big screen: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Mr. Bueller had no clue how dramatically faster life would get over the next 38 years. Without a doubt, our lives today can move faster than we can think. (And if it is a gut punch to realize that this movie came out 38 years ago, this quote just became even more impactful!)  Our desire for instant gratification has created a society that is sadly deficient in boredom, silence, and rest.
In 2007, the first iPhone came out, and the world changed forever. Gone are the days of being a kid or teenager on a summer day with nothing to do. You had to figure out how to entertain yourself or go outside with friends. We had to manage our boredom and do a lot more thinking. Today, we have endless amounts of digital content to occupy kids, teens, and adults when they have nothing to do. We don’t have to rely on anything other than a screen to entertain us. We don’t even have to think much; our devices fill our minds. Who needs to talk to other people when you can watch people online?
My generation is the last to have experienced life memories without smartphones―the last to remember a world without everyone looking down at a device or having wireless earbuds in their ears all the time; the last to experience a world where everyone was actually present in the world around them. We wonder why people are so unhappy and unfulfilled, why suicide and abuse keep growing and growing. We have lost touch with the original rhythms of life that God orchestrated at the beginning. We carry this constant sense of being overwhelmed with life.
Everywhere we turn, there is something we have to do, a text to respond to, a call that needs to be answered―all to fulfill the instant gratification society demands of us. We are always so hurried and distracted that we no longer appropriately engage with other human beings. Are your interactions with people filled with peace, love, kindness, and joy when you are in a hurry? Do you even look people in the eyes? It’s just go, go, go . . . on to the next thing or distraction. We tell ourselves that is just how the world works and how we must live. But is that how God designed us to live?
  • What if there is more than living on the edge of exhaustion?
  • What if there is a rest that you don’t have to buy, earn, or acquire?
  • What if the very thing your soul is longing for is right in front of you, and you just need to receive it?
As followers of Jesus, we are called to live differently.

Matthew 11:28–30
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Doesn’t that sound amazing? We are learning to live like Jesus, who walked in perfect alignment with God. So, what does it look like to embrace the rhythms of life that God wants for us? Let’s start at the beginning. Since we focus a lot on Creation here at RforH, I think you know which beginning I’m referring to. In the first two pages of the Bible, God lays out the rhythms and boundaries of life. Over the void of chaos, God spoke words of life. From it came the rising and setting of the sun, the flow of the tides, the ever-constant change of seasons, the beating of hearts, and the breath moving in and out of lungs. God created the universe; He knows how it ought to be lived in. If anything in Creation goes out of alignment, it’s bad news―He made the cosmos with mathematical precision. This world was carefully designed to operate in a specific way. This includes us.

Genesis 1:14
“And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,”

After God was pleased with His work, He rested on the seventh day. You may wonder, but God is all-powerful; why would He need to rest? Well, He doesn’t; that wasn’t the point. God set up a day of rest that He blessed and made holy through His presence. He was showing us from the beginning that true rest comes from sitting in the presence of the Creator. Human beings were designed to be filled with rest in the presence of God first, then set out to work. God created man to work from their rest, not rest from their work as in today’s standards. Many of us try to cram time with God into our busy schedules and say, “I just don’t have time.”
When was the last time you truly prioritized sitting in the presence of God? When was the last time you embraced God's amazing creation around you? God created man by breathing life into Adam. We inhale and exhale 22,000 times a day without even thinking about it. We are breathing in and out the very air of God. Our existence depends on this regular rhythm that God has set into motion with Adam's lungs. Pause, take a deep breath, and sit in the awareness of God.
Our physical health is also dependent on how much we embrace His creation. Getting morning sunlight in our eyes and watching the sunset helps our bodies produce hormones to get good sleep and function properly. Eating whole foods allows for bodies to thrive. Putting our bare feet on the ground allows free electrons to transfer into our bodies to promote overall well-being. God created Eve as He saw it was not good for man to be alone. Human beings thrive in community and relationships, not isolation. God made the rhythms of the world with deep intentions to allow us to thrive and be close to Him if we choose to.
We are called to live a life rooted in the awareness of His life-giving presence, the intimacy with one another, and being in tune with the seasons and the rhythms of day and night. Unfortunately, many of us are experiencing the consequences of living out of alignment with God’s design. Life moves quickly, so we must eliminate the hurry in our lives. Hurry is the enemy of a fulfilling life with Christ and a detriment to our physical well-being. In the book, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” by John Mark Comer, the author lists “10 Symptoms of Hurry Sickness.” Here they are:
Irritability
Hypersensitivity
Restlessness
Workaholism
Emotional numbness
Out-of-order priorities
Lack of care for your body
Escapist behavior
Slippage of spiritual discipline
Isolation
How many of these are true for you? It might be time to take account of how you are actually spending your time.
  • How can you slow down your life?
  • What can you cut from your day that doesn’t truly matter?
  • What can you change to spending quiet time with God while watching the sunrise or sunset?
  • How can you enhance time with your family and spouse?
Perhaps it's engaging face-to-face with each other versus another hour or two on devices. Changes won’t happen overnight. Start prioritizing God above all in your life. As you learn to walk with Him, you will find rest for your soul and learn to prioritize what really matters in life. You will be embracing the rhythms God intended for us. Look around and praise Him for this life; you don’t want to miss it.

John 15:1–11
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  
Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing. 
If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Author Bio:
Howdy! My name is Gabrielle Terry, but you can call me Gabby. My husband, Riley, and I (married since October 2022) live in the beautiful state of Georgia! Currently, I am the youngest person on staff at Reasons for Hope, and most of the time, you will see me on the streets with a microphone in my hand doing Mic’dUP interviews. I also help teach youth groups to go out and evangelize through Mic’dUP!
 
Besides evangelism, I greatly admire how God designed our bodies and what we can do to support them. I wanted to be able to help others learn this information, so I became a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Now, I can help people understand the foundations of what our body needs to thrive through holistic practices with a Christian perspective. If you want more information on what I do as an NTP, please email me at gabrielleterry@rforh.com.
 

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