The Rush

We rush ahead so fast, we often leave Jesus behind.

Delia is a pastor and director of the Women's Ministries in Nicaragua, Central America. She is working on her masters in family counseling. She is the mother of six and enjoys crafts and swimming.

Oops, the laundry button has just buzzed. The door bell is banging. The telephone is ringing. In seven minutes, I have to pick up the kids at school and rush to an appointment with the doctor. The house is untidy and my hair is still a mess. And to make it worse, the elevator broke again, so I will have to rush down five flights of stairs! Such every day scenes seem to justify the argument that "life is a rush."

But a careful look could elicit a different thought. Why do people rush? Some honest answers include the need to be on time, to act responsibly, to get everything accomplished. Some people even say they just can't avoid always being in a rush. Someone even said rushing was part of the three angels' message --John saw them flying (rushing). Yet the question must be asked: What price do we pay for the spirit of rushing? After all, isn't rushing a result of pride and disorganization?

From nearly the beginning of time, man has succumbed and been enslaved to the spirit of rushing. Cain rushed at his brother with a club instead of pondering the personal advice God gave him.

Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, after the death of Absalom rushed to David only to stand aside as a fool. David was in a rush to slay his future bride, the prudent Abigail along with Nabal, the fool, and other innocent folks. Pharaoh was in a rush to recapture the Israelites and it cost him his life in a water crash,

Uzzah rushed to the ark and crashed with death. Balaam rushed to curse for money and pierced his soul. Saul rushed to execute the Christians and lost his sight on the way. Pilate rushed from the presence of truth to heed public pressure and sentence his own soul.

In 2000, we haven't learned the lesson, and we are still rushing. A visible sign, perhaps, is the fact that the reader is rushing through these lines to finish the article as quickly as possible.

Slouchiness and rushing arc on the same side of the battle. In this age of the Internet and computerized machinery, nothing seems to move quite fast enough. The driver in the front car is too slow. The school bell is taking too long to ring. The sermon is too lengthy and tedious. And just try meddling in a normal day of a single mother of four.

So often the consequences are discerned too late. Statistics seem to cry out to stop rushing. The consequences are too high, the risks too heavy. They include:

I. Emotional unease, restlessness, nervous breakdown, and dissatis­faction with ourselves.

2. Physical weakness, stress, gastro­intestinal diseases, ulcers, heart problems.

3. Mental pain, excessive worries, mental lapses, confusion.

4. Financial disaster due to accidents.

5. Spiritual problems caused by our bouncing over people and their feelings in our crazy rush.

6. Family circles are broken, we rush through family worship and give no quality time for the family, thereby enhancing the generation gap; we deny our faith by not providing Cor our own which provokes loneliness and separation.

The spirit of rushing inhibits us from seeing the stop sign and urges us on in our rush, whether it be to get married, find get a career, be the best, travel from airport to airport, or finish the meal even though the salt is absent from the dough. We rush to be good or do good as Martha tried to rush Mary. We rush so fast, we often leave Jesus behind.

It would be wise to heed these counsels to avoid the spirit of rush:

1. Stop in your rush and consider: Why am I rushing? is this the Lord's plan? Am I pleasing God this way? Is this a habit of unhealthful practice or is Jesus rushing me on now?

2. Listen: Hearing is not listening. Practice the listening and heeding of the voice of God's spirit, wooing us to be organized and plan.

3. Analyze the Spirit: John said, "Try the spirits whether they are of God." Try them with the light of God's word. God loves and blesses order.

4. Choose the Spirit: A right choice fortifies for another right choice. If you postpone the planning when you have some leisure time you will later obey the spirit of rushing and crushing to be at ease with man and you will be mad at yourself. Or you can plan now to use wisely the time of tomorrow by obeying the spirit of organization. You will receive a blessing and be at peace with God, man, and yourself.

But God is in no rush. He has never been in a rush. He took His time to create this world He could have made in five minutes, and it would have been good. But He took seven days and made it very good. And He made the Sabbath, a sign of calm, a sign of His attitudes. Yes, the Sabbath is a sign to stop rushing.

Now God's antidote to the spirit of rushing is the spirit of organization. Moses learned it from Jethro.

Isaiah said, "I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne." He was sitting, not rushing. He was calm amidst the storm, for He is organized.

Jesus never rushed. He slept in a sinking ship and when he awoke, he was calm. He didn't even rush when his friend, Lazarus, was dying. When lairus pressed the Master for the sake of his agonizing daughter, Jesus stopped to bless a needy woman.

It was the wise man who counseled: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler provide al her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest" (Prov. 6:6, KW).

It's rather wise to lose a day or two to pursue the spirit of organization, for in losing you win. There may be a few exceptions, but remember: A little silent planning will avoid a whole lot of loud rushing.