Wishful thinking

I picked up a book that was close at hand this morning. The author, John Ortberg, wrote about talking with a friend, looking for spiritual direction. After describing telling the friend what was happening in his life, John writes,

What did I need to do, I asked him, to be spiritually healthy?

Long pause.

“You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life,” he said at last.

As I was thinking about that response, I laid the book down and began to laugh at the cover of the book. According to the sticker, I could get the life I’ve always wanted for 30% off.

I wish that was true. I would rather not have to think about 100% effort, 100% attention, 100% devotion. I would love to have the life I’ve always wanted at a discount. But I think it doesn’t happen that way.

The challenge for me, for today, is that I have had three separate prompts this morning about slowing down. And just like getting things done takes 110% effort, the process of slowing down takes 100% effort. It takes ruthless elimination. And that’s hard on a day that I have to spend out of the office, with a meeting in the evening, and a project for Hope. And I know that I should give you an amazon link to the book, which would come by adding it to my store.

But you can find it yourself if you want.

Because I need to eliminate something today.

Happy Monday.


5 responses to “Wishful thinking

  1. Ruthless elimination of hurry from my life. What’s beautiful, is that it is the hurry that feels ruthless and meeting it with the same energy feels awkward but right somehow.

    I read John Ortberg’s book “If You Want To Walk on Water You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat” prior to my family’s move to Maine. It was a gift from my brother-in-law who was crucial in supporting our journey. I’ve read the book again since then and cannot recommend it highly enough.

    I do like the idea of a discount. 🙂

  2. you state the tension in a wonderful way. Of course.

    I understand about the discount…but I’m afraid it isn’t happening.

  3. Jon,

    I had to laugh to myself as I was sitting here this morning feeling a bit smug, sipping a cup of coffee and watching the deer from the back porch.

    What I realized was this: I was actually breezing through blogs and bookmarks, my mind all the time formulating what I was going to post today. I wasn’t relaxing at all. I was simply seated while in a big hurry!

    There’s a paradox that we probably all struggle with in our faith. That is, the desire to say “Yes” in order to minister to others, which leads to wearing ourselves out until we need to scream “No!” and take a break for refreshment. Truth be told, we’ve all reached that point at one time or another.

    Thanks for the reminder about ruthless elimination.

    And keep writing…

  4. “seated while in a big hurry”

    Steve, what a wonderful image. I think about sitting on a porch…and wonder whether my laptop will work. Sad.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  5. i can imagine the smile on your face as you found the humor and your own meaning from that book cover…even more how cool that you decide to take that moment and turn into a blog post.