An Unhurried Heart


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In the midst of full lives, busy days, and moments that fly by so quickly they are barely noticed, God calls us to way of living that emanates from an unhurried heart.

And while that may seem impossible in today’s world, the mandates of Scripture stand firm.

Our lives are to show the fruit of the Spirit of God living inside us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Such fruit can only be grown in a life that is rooted in a deepening relationship with God, which requires attentiveness and prioritizing and a good measure of being present with an unhurried heart.

One of the greatest traps of the enemy of our souls is to ensnare us in busyness. When busyness characterizes our lifestyle, spiritual disciplines such as mediation, Scripture memory, Bible reading, and prayer often fly out the window.

Busyness can often take up all the empty space in our lives and we can find ourselves  dashing from one urgent task to another while failing to remain anchored on the important matters within us and around us. What a difference there is in urgent matters and important matters! Things may feel urgent, as if they must be attended to immediately, when their true worth may be insignificant.

If we pause to set goals for our lives, the important stuff surfaces.

I want to get healthier.  Prioritize my financial goals. Feed my brain. Exercise more. Spend more time with family. Pause to see the sunset with my husband. Meditate on what God whispered to me. Read that book. Connect with that friend. Encourage that one who has been on our heart.

Most of us get temporarily connected to these goals at the beginning of  New Year but a couple of months later, we often realize we haven’t made any lasting changes in order to obtain those goals.

Jesus lived the most important life ever lived. His life made it possible for all people to live eternally. His life demonstrated to us how we can live purposeful lives. His life modeled healthy boundaries. His life modeled the ability to hear God amidst people pulling on you in a thousand different directions.

At some of what might seem to have been the most urgent moments in his life, Jesus walked away from the urgency and chose the important. Spending time with God was important to Jesus. It was the place where he remained deeply connected to peace and purpose.

The story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10 so beautifully contrasts urgent matters and important matters.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha understood that there was a lot to get done. Jesus and his disciples were going to be staying at their house. That meant buying food, preparing food, cleaning, planning, and more. There was truly urgency about what had to be done.

And yet Mary seems oblivious. I’d probably be as frustrated at Mary as Martha was. The slacker, lol.

But Jesus validates Mary and her choice. Her choice was to live from an unhurried heart, a heart that discerned the importance of Jesus and the importance of the moment.  What Mary gained in those moments, she would never lose. While although it seemed extremely urgent, it wouldn’t really matter in ten years whether or not Martha’s tasks had been completed.

(That’s one of the ways I discern between urgent and important. Will it matter next week? Next year? In ten years? In fifty years?)

Is your heart too busy? Too distracted? Too hurried?

What could you change to prioritize your spiritual life and your ability to live from an unhurried heart?

If you live from an unhurried heart, does that mean you won’t be busy? That you won’t be productive? No, not necessarily. It just means that you live in such a way that you value the voice of God and your relationship with Him. It means that when necessary, you walk away from the urgent voices of the hour and walk to the One who makes all things new, the One who strengthens our hearts, the One who reveals things to us, the One who makes our paths straight.

An unhurried heart. Do you have one?


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Categories : Purposeful Living

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