The Hurried Disciple

Last year, I was asked to preaching on Eph. 5:21. Yes, we did an entire sermon on one verse. Yes, it was weird. But it forced me to think about how often we hurry through a text. The following is an excerpt from the introduction. It was a startling reminder to me of what I know to be true. Now on to the living it, I guess.

The expeditious and laissez faire way in which time prefers to pass can cause in us an internal sense of panic. It’s our nature to feel pressure from time. The passing of time is an ever-present reminder of the ultimate countdown of our mortality. So we don our cosmic track shoes and frantically try to beat a clock that isn’t racing us.

“By itself, this sense of urgency isn’t a problem. But a problem can arise if it flings us into a rush rather than encouraging us into a quest.

You might be thinking, “David, I would but this text is pretty basic. It’s nine words. There’s more text stenciled into a fruit roll up, why are you making such big deal about this? Let’s talk about submission and go eat.”

I’m making a big deal about this because our daily sprint can keep us from our daily bread. We wake up in the morning, hot-beverage and cell-phone in one hand, Bible and Go-Gert in the other (we don’t even have time for a spoon any more), we flip open our Bibles and ask God to send us a tweet of special revelation for the day.

The end result is that Scripture becomes our “honey do” list from God. There’s no relationship, just command. This means, for all practical purposes, we don’t have a relationship with the God who loves us. We’re essentially ignoring him and replacing him with a ticker of moralism that we’re hoping will suffice as a spiritual life or, worse, divine appeasement.

But believe me, my friends, I do not stand up here with condemnation. I am more than aware of the cause of this plight –more aware today than I was before I crammed over a dozen semester credits into an already burgeoning schedule.

Deadlines don’t care if I’ve had a quiet time. Fussy children don’t care if I’ve had a good bible study. Employers don’t care if my heart is right with God. If the world has any interest in my spiritual life, it is the active desire to destroy it. So you have both sympathy and empathy from me, but our commiserative acknowledgments don’t free us from that fact that true, strong relationships are not built atop neglect.

People don’t get engaged after a year of not finding time for each other. If we say we love God and yet don’t have time for him, we’re kidding ourselves. We don’t have a relationship with God, we have a junior high crush on God.

“I’m in love”
“Yeah? When’s the last time you talked to him?”
“Oh, I don’t do that.”

That’s not a relationship. But the truth is, that fact is easy to see when it’s not you.

So would you join me, this morning, in lingering over the words of God? In pausing to hear the heart of God? In turning to acknowledge the thoughts of God?

4 thoughts on “The Hurried Disciple

  • September 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    You use words like “burgeoning,” and phrases like “cosmic track shoes,” and then wrap them all up in something as wise as this….and that’s why I love you. X)

  • September 21, 2010 at 2:12 am

    With a wink and a nod to your post on linguistic prescriptivism, I would like to point out that you have one grammar blip and two misspelled words in this post. Nevertheless… wise, encouraging, and well-said.

  • October 1, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    That’s why urgency must learn from inevitability, and vice versa. There are both kinds of people in this world. We all need a balancing point of view.

    I do too. That’s why God loves me enough to put those kinds of people in my life. Non-goal-oriented, enjoy-the-journey types that drive me crazy and teach me about life all at the same time.

  • October 14, 2010 at 6:38 am

    The very last analogy to a “junior high crush” on God hit home with me tonight. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the material things that are right in front of me (like deadlines, homework, etc.) and push God down on my priority list. Yet how can I say that I love God and want my life to be all about God if my school and other parts of life are of higher priority than He is? Thanks for the reminder and analogy.

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