Hurrying and rushing to get things done is something that makes many people feel guilty. The Rev. Samantha Parsons, association pastor of discipleship at First Methodist Sherman, believes that people’s addiction to hurrying can affect spiritual growth.
Parsons reviewed Kirk Byron Jones’s “Addiction to Hurrying: Spiritual Strategies for Slowing Down” at the Sherman Museum Wednesday. The review was the third one hosted by the Friends of the Sherman Public Library’s this year.
“A good book is like a good sermon,” Parsons said. “It speaks to you specifically, and when I thought about it, there were several ways where I was guilty of rushing.”
Parsons said that people today are rushing in building relationships, emotionally and spiritually.
“Addiction to hurrying is like any other addiction,” she said. “We are avoiding dealing with a problem. We are surrounded by wonder and beauty and when we are rushing, we are missing seeing that.”
That means missing the opportunity to dance to the rhythm of holy empowerment, Parsons said.
“We want to live more deeply, more joyfully through life’s experiences,” she said. “We need to find our center sapphire. I think that it is critical to having any type of spiritual growth. We need to have the desire to come back to our source. We need to search for God. We have to desire that to be able to grow. We need to be seeking God. We cannot be growing if we are satisfied. We need to have a hunger that is pushing and pursuing him. It should motivate us.”
When people find that motivation to seek God, Parsons believes that peace can be found.
“We have to open ourselves,” she said. “We have to go to prayer, to Bible study, to worship, going into small groups. We need to go wherever there might be the opportunity to grow in God. In pursuit of those things, God will awaken that desire.”
Growing takes time, Parsons said.
“One of the things I love about this book is that the author agrees that it take small steps to slow down,” she said. “The most powerful way to affect big change is to attend to small changes. Someone that needs to slow down should pick one area of life and pick one thing in that small area and work on that. Once you feel like you have accomplished that one thing, then turn somewhere else. Do not look at the whole pie and think you have to conquer it all. Take it one slice at a time.”
Feeling overwhelmed is what causes people to hurry, Parsons said.
“We do not want to think about that big burden,” she said. “It’s too crushing. It is too much. It will overwhelm us because we do not want to deal with that. But, with baby steps, we can do it. It is possible.”
Society, technology, and fast food have pushed people toward this addiction of rushing, Parsons said.
“I think it may have started around the time that McDonald’s was founded,” she said. “We have this idea that we can have now what before took hours. It used to take a lot of preparation and planning. Something inside of us liked the idea that we could leap over work to get to the satisfaction.”
Leaping over necessary work is the addiction, she explained.
“It’s easier,” she said. “It is similar to a drug addiction. It is leaping over all the pain to get some sort of relief. That is what hurrying is.”
Sometimes when it comes to faith, Parsons said, people try to skip over the work of studying and praying to get to the happiness or the peace that God provides.
“There are probably people that go to church on Sunday morning thinking that they have done the work necessary to have God,” she said. “They think they go to a revival and leave with that high of the revival not realizing that there is still work to be done in pursuing God. When you get that high for so many hours and then have to come back down off the mountain, the high leaves because it cannot stay with you. We have got to do the work to have that soul peace. It does not come otherwise.”