Fall in rural Nebraska means harvest time. And harvest time means huge, slow, yet very important farming equipment on the move. I’m used to it, following family members in tractors, combines, or with grain wagons to pick them up or help them move equipment. I never minded the slow journey; I actually quite enjoyed it. But that’s not the case for everyone. People are always in such a hurry! We’ve seen the impatient drivers. We’ve witnessed the dangerous passings. We’ve held our breath. We’ve heard the stories.
The other day, my husband and I were driving behind a combine on a long stretch of highway. This is where most people, in a hurry, become impatient and do dangerous things. All they see is a big inconvenience, something keeping them from staying on their timeline, an object in their hurried way.
But we see much more. We see the farmer in his tractor, just doing his job. He’s worried about traffic, ditches, mailboxes, and power lines; worried that we have been behind him for miles and haven’t been able to pass; probably worried we’re getting impatient because so many people do. We see it’s getting late, and he’s probably nowhere near being finished for the day. We see that huge piece of equipment moving slow and there isn’t anything he can do about it.
Despite many thinking of Nebraska as flat, this two-lane highway is full of long, drawn-out hills, and there was just no safe opportunity to pass. Although we were fine to settle back and be patient, others weren’t of the same mind. More than once, cars flew around us and the farming equipment in no-passing zones, just barely missing oncoming traffic they couldn’t see coming because of the hills. We held our breath more than once, terrified of what could happen, knowing how easily it could. And just because someone was in a hurry? Because someone couldn’t wait just a few more minutes? Because they couldn’t put life and safety before their rushed timeline?
Why are we all in such a hurry? Where is our patience? I am guilty of this as well, although not so much when behind a fifteen-ton piece of farming equipment. But I am learning more and more about hurry. I don’t like the anxiousness it brings. I don’t like the feeling that a fast forward button was pushed on my life or that I am missing out on what’s most important.
Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.
Proverbs 21:5 (MSG)
Life goes by so quickly the way it is. Spending it rushed and running from one thing to the next isn’t good. Hurry doesn’t bring out my best. Instead, hurry actually steals what matters most in life and steals my best from me.
When I hurry, I do a little of so many different things yet don’t really accomplish anything. When I hurry in my relationships, they suffer because it’s impossible to love well and have deep, meaningful relationships in a hurry. When I hurry in my work, I can’t do it to the fullest of my potential. When I hurry, I can’t help others because I’m not fully present and can’t understand their needs. When I hurry, I miss out on what’s important because I’m not present enough.
Desire without knowledge is not good — how much more will hasty feet miss the way!
Proverbs 19:2 (NIV)
Although I think I’ll accomplish more, do a better job, help more people, basically be a super woman when I hurry, I can’t do any of those things.
Hurry robs me of what God has given to me in this beautiful life, the one He intends for me to use well. Hurry has no place here, when living my best life.
It will take intention and mindfulness. (If you have the opportunity, spending some time driving behind a combine is helpful.) I will need to decide to slow down — my movements, my talking — and I’ll need to be intentional about listening better, removing things from the schedule, editing the to-do list, considering my priorities, and practicing patience.
With God’s grace, I can slow down and connect with Him and others in my life better. And so can you. Live your best life, leaving hurry behind.Leave a Comment