I live in the fourth most populated part of the country. I moved here a year ago from rural Indiana. Needless to say it's been an adjustment. While living in Indiana, if I had to drive 20 minutes, I said I needed to take a "trip." Now, when I drive 20 minutes I say I'm going to the office. Things have changed.
The above picture is of my morning commute. Turn the picture around and you'll have a glimpse of my afternoon commute. Traffic is simply a part of life in this area.
One thing this much traffic causes me to do is slow down. But, slowing down is exactly what I do NOT want to do. When I'm on the road, I want to speed up ... and, apparently, so does everyone else. Being forced to slow down only seems to lead everyone to being in a hurry.
"Hurried" is one word that can describe many of us. A hurried life is a frustrated life. A hurried life causes me to expect you to live at my pace and to get frustrated when you don't. A hurried life causes me to focus more on me and what I need to do and less on me and who I need to become. A hurried life causes me to forget that my barista at Starbucks has a soul and that God is concerned about her soul. A hurried life causes me to become impatient with my wife when she starts talking about her f ... fe ... fee ... feelings. "I don't have time for this!" A hurried life doesn't just cause me to miss my kids' events, but also causes me to miss what my kids pay attention to ... a butterfly on a flower ... the clouds in the sky ... ants working on the ground ... and many other things that have ceased to be a wonder to me. A hurried life causes me to forget what God has done and causes me to simply think about what I want Him to do. A hurried life keeps me blind to the issues of my heart. A hurried life causes me to forget my daily need for God's grace. A hurried life causes me to become so preoccupied with the next hill to conquer that I forget why I'm fighting. (Zempel). A hurried life turns people in to projects. I'll have enough time to tell them what they should do but not enough time to truly know them and love them. A hurried life is generally a selfish life. A hurried life can make me an expert without awe, a pastor without love, a parent without joy, and a husband without compassion.
A hurried life seeks to kidnap our worship and priorities. Grace seeks to slow us down. "Grace works to restore my worship to its rightful owner - God. It is only when God is in His rightful place in our hearts that everything else is in its appropriate place in our lives, and only powerful grace can accomplish this." (Tripp)