I miss those poetry mornings these days. And An Unhurried Life reminded me why. If I am going to be the kind of person and pastor I want to be, I have to slow down a little, be present more, and allow God to do his work in me and through me. This is a wonderful book, that really attacks hurry for the soul sickness it is at every level.
Fadling exposes our hurried pace of life, and through quotes of the ancients shows that this hurry sickness is not unique to our generation. As a matter of fact, through the Biblical examples he cites later in the book, Fadling shows that the lack of patience and trust that fuels hurry was a part of humanity's first sin, and challenging Jesus to rush God and his timing is part of how Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness. Fadling anticipates misunderstandings well and confronts them directly. An unhurried life, he clearly communicates, is not a lazy life. Nor is it a self-centered one.
Rather, it is a thoughtful, meaningful way of living that is modeled after the spirituality of Jesus. As I read this book, I began to wonder about how I live my life. Why am I in such a hurry to get so many things done if I have an eternal life in front of me? Why am I letting other people's anxieties and my concerns drive me instead of the grace and truth of Jesus Christ? Why I am so eager to accomplish things that only God can accomplish through me?
I will keep coming back to this book as I journey through my life and ministry. It is a convicting book, but a comforting book at the same time. As such, it was exactly what I needed at this time in my life. View all 4 comments. Jan 23, Bob rated it really liked it Shelves: christian-spiritual-formation. Alan Fadling contends many of us are suffering from hurry sickness, and that it is not only detrimental to our bodies but also to our souls.
We are going too fast to hear God, to fast to grow deeply, too fast to discern the temptations that lead us astray. He begins by painting a picture of the frenetic life that characterizes modern life. He contrasts this with the idea of apprenticeship with Jesus, the unhurried learning with him. He argues from the life of Jesus that unhurry isn't laziness and Alan Fadling contends many of us are suffering from hurry sickness, and that it is not only detrimental to our bodies but also to our souls. He argues from the life of Jesus that unhurry isn't laziness and that there is no such thing as holy hurry, only holy unhurry.
Unhurry enables us to resist temptations, which often come in the form of pressure to take shortcuts to some seemingly good thing. Unhurry gives us time to stop and care, to stop and pray. Sabbath is the gift of unhurried rest for God's people. The next chapters 8 and 9 were most significant for me. He talks about suffering and how it can stop us in our tracks and take us into a place of unhurry where we meet God. And he talks about maturity, which if it is to happen well and deeply, cannot happen fast.
He concludes with a helpful chapter on practices for unhurry including EPC Extended Personal Communion with God which seemed to me another word for taking periods of spiritual retreat. Perhaps most helpfully, he suggests a one-third rule in the learning of spiritual practices, where one third of one's learning time is devoted to actual practice.
He also commends the practices of slowing down for example, driving in the slow lane and sleep, of which too many of us are deprived. His last chapter is on eternal life, in which we are already living. An eternal perspective can help us by reminding us that such a life is life with the Triune God, and that we are already where Christ is with God and this is what most matters. I appreciated this book for its practicality an eternal perspective is intensely practical!
I also appreciated his challenges to the numbers mentality that sets aside apprenticeships to pursue the fickle masses. Unhurried, deep work in the lives of people will touch many, as it did with Jesus work with the twelve. And this is what the author contends will happen when we follow Jesus in his rhythms of work and rest. May 25, Reid rated it really liked it Shelves: christian-living , spiritual-disciplines , suffering.
Here's a brief outline that I will re-visit to remember this book: 1. An Unhurried Apprentice -The author speaks of the 'pace of grace', living with God at the pace of a walk 3. Productivity: Unhurried Isn't Lazy -relax, withdraw and linger in God's presence 4. Temptation: Unhurried Enough to Resist -grab, take charge vs.
Unhurried Enough to Care -have patience, see God's agenda vs. Unhurried Enough to Pray -include the habit of withdrawing enough to give the Father my full attention 7. Spiritual Practices for Unhurrying -EPC extended personal communication - redemptive solitude, to listen to His voice or just be in His presence Sep 16, Daniel Stewart rated it liked it Shelves: christian , non-fiction.
I like Fadling, and I genuinely admire his heart in writing this book, despite really not connecting with it. It wasn't the subject matter that I had issue with, as I vehemently agree with the idea of 'unhurry', but the basis of his argument. Though it may sound impossible, I frankly believe this book was steeped in too much scripture which at times felt forced in supporting an argument and Christian rhetoric, to the point of sterility.
That being said, his personal stories, as well as many of I like Fadling, and I genuinely admire his heart in writing this book, despite really not connecting with it. That being said, his personal stories, as well as many of the quotes he mined from the likes of Merton and Chittister were absolute gems. So I'd call this a good intro book for evangelicals just now entering the realm of contemplation and unhurry. For those that need to be convinced. For those further along, you may find more life in the words of the people he quotes. Mar 27, Julie rated it it was amazing. This was a very timely message for me, a "speed" addict.
I have read the words now but have not digested its profound truths to learn to slow down, listen, rest well between "assignments", wait for divine guidance as Jesus modeled. This will be a book I come back to as I make progress in the years to come. View 1 comment. Feb 06, Cameron Roxburgh rated it it was amazing. This is a wonderful book In a day and age where we spend so much time and energy trying to hurry our way through life - hoping it goes on forever, Alan helps us to stop and gain a better perspective on joining God in what He is doing at a pace that He envisioned that we might live life to the fullest.
May 20, Reid Mccormick rated it really liked it Shelves: christianity. In high school, I would explode in anger without notice. When I played baseball, no equipment was safe when I struck out. I would slam my bat, throw my helmet, and blame everything around me. My anger was easily my biggest flaw. Luckily, I never did anything outrageous during my anger spells, which is probably why I held onto to anger and frustrations for so long.
In fact, I felt like my frustrations were completely justified. I was angry because I felt wronged by life. My parents and mentors constantly challenged me on my anger. I knew my anger was unbecoming and a growing problem. I felt like I knew this passage like the back of my hand. But this time, things finally clicked. I was angry because I was not in control. If I give up control, I could let go of my anger.
People close to me saw the sudden change. I still get angry, but something changed then.
The Unhurried Life of Orangutans
I realized that the more I let go, the better I am. The less I control - or the more I realize how little I actually control - the happier I was. From that moment, I started to slow down.
I worry less. I stress less. I am angry less. I am a total believer in the unhurried life. The unhurried life is not just about slowing down, it is about removing the unnecessary. It can be unnecessary possessions, unhealthy worry and thoughts, damaging relationships, or pointless technology. As a society, we greatly value productivity. As Christians, we want to make sure we are productive for Christ. This can be a very dangerous journey, when we decide that the more we do the better as if everything relies on us.
There is no formula to the unhurried life.
Everyone has different temptations, vices, and faults. In An Unhurried Life, the author gives us many examples from his life and ministry. He gives practical solutions, but this book should only be an example and a launching pad. Waking up before dawn to do quiet time can be great, but that would not help me. I think the author expressed it best when we talked about stepping outside of ourselves and watching from the outside. A little distance from ourselves can show us a lot. From a distance, you can see what controls you.
What hinders you from slowing down? May 11, Carson rated it really liked it Shelves: list. Alan's writing style is not amazing, but the content helped me change my deeply ingrained habits of busyness, rushing and trying to be "productive" all the time. Jesus was relaxed and patient, and yet he accomplished the most important thing anyone has ever done. How can we learn from his ways and walk in them? His patience in maturing and growing before "getting into ministry.
Hint: A LOT. I will b Alan's writing style is not amazing, but the content helped me change my deeply ingrained habits of busyness, rushing and trying to be "productive" all the time.
I will be taking these next two years of seminary and cutting the number of classes per semester I take in half. Still will finish in four years total, as intended, but my desire is always to fill my schedule to overflowing. Scary for me to prune down and have lots more margin than usual, but the right way to go. Jesus calls us to enter his rest and walk in his ways. Busyness in ministry, especially, is a huge problem. How much of our assigned work is intended to draw a crowd as opposed to "pouring into individuals whose allegiance to Jesus is depending, enabling him to transform their character and lives?
How much time do we spend seeking Jesus together? This was a convicting set of questions that has led to some simple, yet significant changes in how I intend to do ministry next year as a Dean of a Christian Residence Hall. Really excited to invite others along with me as I follow Jesus. Not just say, "OK, let's get down to business. We have to plan this, organize that, delegate this It is doing the good work God actually has for us in a given day. But to do that is to jump ahead of him and step outside of his will. God is not in the same rush I am.
Slow down and consult him first and see what HE wants to do. Accept my limitations and enter the unhurried life with Christ. Let him teach you at his pace. Don't be a glutton for knowledge and think that book smarts will lead to true maturity. Full maturity is more than knowing the right thing.
Mar 10, Cole Ramirez rated it liked it Shelves: christianity , non-fiction. This book came at a good time in my life, where more than ever I feel the negative effects of hurried living. I hurry to get ready in the morning, hurry to get breakfast on the table, hurry the kids along with their meal, hurry to get everyone in the car, hurry to get to school on time, and hurry to get home in time to nurse the baby before she starts screaming.
I am irritated by people who drive under the speed limit. I am irritated when my kids don't dress fast enough, eat fast enough, or walk This book came at a good time in my life, where more than ever I feel the negative effects of hurried living. I am irritated when my kids don't dress fast enough, eat fast enough, or walk fast enough.
I take the concept of efficiency to the extreme, doing everything I can as quickly as possible and maximizing the productivity of every moment. I have a built in rest time every day while the kids nap but even my rest somehow feels hurried. I'll admit it's a problem. I'll concede there is a better way. But I'm not entirely sure Alan Fadling has the answer - or if he does, he fails to present it in a practical way.
It's possible that the book just wasn't written with me as the target audience. It's clearly geared toward people in ministry. But of course, motherhood is a ministry too and I am a leader to my children. What role do these silent, reflective retreats play in the life of a full time mother? How can I stop hurrying and still be on time? The book contains no answers. And yet, I did learn and grow quite a bit in the process of reading An Unhurried Life. I made it my focus to slow down whenever possible. I stopped looking for the shortest line, and when I got caught up in the slow lane, I took a deep breath and let go of the compulsion to get out and speed up.
I thought seriously about the amount of INPUT coming from things I read and listen to, resisting the urge to fill every silence.
Social psychologists began to fret: whatever would people do with all their free time? That sounds like a dream compared to what most of us experience in every life. Ours is a culture that values the hustle, the overzealous achiever and the omnipresent email.
An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest
We boast about how busy we have been, how fast our pace of life is and how little free time we have now that we are all grown up. Many of us have been so conditioned to be efficient that times of slowing down and relenting seem unproductive, irresponsible, lazy and even selfish. We know that we need rest but can no longer see the value of it as an end in itself. It is only worthwhile if it helps us recharge our batteries so that we can be even more efficient in the next period of productivity.
There are many times where hurry is the best response, such as an emergency. People get injured or sick and need to be hurried to the hospital. Urgent issues arise that need immediate attention and quick action. The problem is that when we find ourselves living with a constant sense of urgency, we get stuck here.
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Every situation feels like an emergency, whether it is or not. Overwork is heart-hardening, literally. Thomas Merton, a Trappist prophet in the early twentieth century had this to say about the effects of overwork:. Work is good and necessary, but too much of it renders the soul insensitive to spiritual values, hardens the heart against prayer and divine things.
It requires serious effort and courageous sacrifice to resist this hardening of the heart.
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Many of us are permanently stuck in deadline mode, hurrying and hustling ourselves to the next task and leaving little time to ease off and recharge. The things that need slowness — friendship, laughter, creative thought, loving and planning — get lost in the mad dash to keep up with the crowd. At the heart of our busyness is our heart. We are busy because we are working hard to meet the desires of our hearts. Chester believes that a life of over-busyness is rooted in a false belief that God does not meet the desires of our heart, so we must meet them ourselves.
The great news for every Christian is that, in God, we have liberating truths that set us free from the slavery to our schedules. These lies have become so all-encompassing that they have worked their way into almost every area of our lives. 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. There is something deeply appealing about those words. God instead invites us to rest in Him, because he knows that is where we will find our satisfaction, our joy and true contentment.
We can easily convince ourselves that God loves us because of what we do and what we can bring him in the middle of a busy season.
See a Problem?
Yet when we rest, we acknowledge that we have nothing to give God and He is what we truly, deeply need. Rest has been important from the beginning of creation. We call this Sabbath. One day out of every seven, Israel was to rest from their labour and remember the Sabbath. The rest has become deeper and more satisfying now that Jesus has come.
Whilst Israel kept the Sabbath as a means to being made right with God as part of the Law , Christians can trust in Jesus for their rest. They can rest in the knowledge that he has satisfied every need that we will ever have. Every emotion and urging that fuels our over-busyness has been dealt with on the cross and the resurrection, through Jesus. Every fear that we have about ourselves before God has been matched by Jesus. God now invites us to stop the busyness, to cease, to rest, to end, and to draw closer to Him and be filled with satisfaction and contentment.
Having a weekly time of Sabbath has not been easy for me, and when I do so, I often felt more tired than before. Most of the time, I slept in and watched movies all day. This is the image I had of a day of rest. Miller suggested four ideas that we can use to guide us into Sabbath rest: relent, rest, rejoice and reflect. Stop thinking about the workload you have to go back to. Stop working on the proposal that is due later this week. Stop reading endless articles on Facebook.