An Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling

This is less of a book review and more of a rambling of thoughts…

“My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered the interruptions were my work.” -Henri Nouwen

I used to be quite a hot head. 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. I was a good kid who worked and when bad things happened to me I was upset; I didn’t deserve this.

My parents and mentors constantly challenged me on my anger. I knew my anger was unbecoming and a growing problem. I didn’t want to be angry but, again, I didn’t think it was my fault. But one day I remember reading my Bible and I came across these simple words in Matthew 6,

“Do not worry”

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

I’ve read these words probably a few dozen times in my life. 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 wasn’t perfect. I still get angry, but something changed then. 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. Finding extended periods of solitude can work, but I don’t believe it’s essential. 
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?