Challenge: To not make haste

Chapter 5 of John Ortberg‘s book, “The Life You Always Wanted”, is called, “The Practice of ‘Slowing’.” He details a discipline, or spiritual way, of living an unhurried life. As a way to challenge the typical tendency to rush, Ortberg challenges his readers to look for the longest checkout line, and wait in that one. Sounds frustrating, right? The idea is to challenge how one views time, actions, and life as a whole.

John’s experiment gives a person a jump start strategy to begin to enjoy all of life, even the little things that get rushy. No part of living is wasted. Something that was once frustrating can actually turn into a positive. Instead of an urgent hardship, the experience is controlled by the person, rather than happening to them.  It is also experienced for it’s own benefit, not just as a means to something else.  

Regarding time and busyness: The practice moves the practitioner away from being a habitual slave to urgency, and a indentured servant to the clock. As it turns out, an unhurried life will create more opportunities than one ever thought possible. Creating cushions of time is even likely to save one time, and establish invaluable connections, not possible for a routinely rushed individual.

Boiling it down, “being unhurried” is to say one is, “moving, acting, and existing without urgency or haste.” In an emergency, this way must be abandoned for a time. But, in normal circumstances, why spend life so quickly, since we can’t get it back?

Things once unnoticeable, become things such as pleasant surprises, little awakenings, newfound interactions, joys, plus experiences and insights aplenty. When we plan to give ourselves extra time to experience an unhurried life, or at least, far larger chunks of it unhurried compared to before, we enjoy more peace of mind, and well-being.

I’ve personally found it’s also a wonderful surprise to hear more Divine “whispers,” and see more Divine “appointments” placed in our path, once we sideline our hurried manner, and ease into a more organic way of living.

Try John’s checkout line experiment, at least once. If you do, please leave a reply about it. (Did it make you insane, or was it valuable?) And-if you do it more than 3 times, in two weeks, I’d really like to hear if it’s changed anything for you. I have a new contact page if you’d prefer that method, or just leave a comment below.

Thanks.

Have a slower day :)

Book update–

To update visitors, friends, and fans, old and new…

3 chapters, an overview, and a new author bio is in my agent’s hands, Chip MacGregor. Editors at one place have mentioned their initial interest, and it seems there are other interesting leads as well.

The book is heading on a bit of  different path than I first imagined, so I felt the great need to revamp the subhead. The working title for the manuscript now is the following: Life As Prayer: A New Paradigm for Contemporary Spirituality Based on an Un-religious God. It is sure to be eye opening, stumbling block removing, burden lifting, and revealing how enjoyable our Creator is. I will keep you posted, so check in for more info. Also, I greatly enjoy comments to any posts, so feel free to put in your two cents, as long as it’s not spiteful of anyone.

Also- The Holy Bible: Mosaic, Tyndale’s new New Living Translation Bible is coming out in October 2009. I’ve lined up a radio spot on WGRC for the show called, “The Matter at Hand” with Larry Weidman, to speak about this project, and the meditation I wrote for it on the Trinity. This is going to be a really neat layout for the Bible that hasn’t been done yet, with readings, reflections from every century of Christianity, gorgeous artwork, 52 meditations, room to write, and more. Check this one out!

All about Rhythm…

A fascinating book detailing opting for rhythm in life instead of balance is…

Your Life in Rhythm , (Tyndale Publishing) by Bruce Miller.

978-1-4143-1977-3

 

Bruce may be a bit too analytical for his own good, but his insights are excellent, and completely advantageous for anyone feeling burned out, or feeling too busy. Scads of practical helps and strategies make this an ideal book for groups, interesting discussions, and swift implementation.

Miller solidly proves that balance is a burden, with a built-in pose to secure, while rhythm offers us the freedom to live and function like organic creatures. He shows how the rest of the natural world around us operates in rhythm, and this approach is quite livable. The author makes the distinction between two helpful ways to view time: Kairos and Chronos, and includes a number of case studies that are followed through their progress, making the transformation, for the willing reader, more likely.

Ruth Barton’s Sacred Rhythms is far more poetic and filled with an artistic, even natural rhythmic approach in its actual style. It feels more peaceful to read, then this kind of handbook approach, which is still quite viable. However, if a reader thinks Miller will read like Barton, brace for disappointment. This is written cut and dry, masculinely, with strategies, tips, tricks, and lists. Miller has an engineer’s mind. I feel it’s nice to read a variety of voices on the topic of living life in rhythm, and I would actually suggest both books.

Sherpas 101

Here is an excerpt from a project I’m working on…

“If you were to take a mountaineering adventure into highest areas of the world, one of the best things you could do would be to hire a Sherpa. In Nepal, Sherpas do more than just help climbers with gear as they ascent. They are expert guides, and famous for their mountaineering and climbing prowess. From years of living in the terrain, they are seasoned navigators. Even their hearts, blood, and lungs have adjusted enormously to better handle the issues of high attitudes.

As we consider our journey with the Divine, we may picture it the same way. A Sherpa may enable and support you, but they cannot do the climb instead of you, while you stay behind. The adventure just wouldn’t be the same. They may help you find the best path, give you life-saving information, or port your gear, but they can’t beam you to the summit. That’s not the point, so to speak, and it would spoil the escapade. Would you be a richer and wiser person if you were teleported to the peak of Mount Everest? Nah.”

I just found a website that combines two great things: adventure and chocolate

 

singapore girl team

A Belgian chocolate company Acticoa is visiting the Everest base camp, handing out chocolate samples to Sherpas, and promoting the cause they want to raise money and awareness for–the Napal Mobile Hospital which provides medical care to those living in remote places. It’s an interesting site to immerse one into the difficult world of high altitudes and adventure climbing.

Mosaic Bible: Word with a twist

bible

 

 

Product Description
Encounter Christ on every continent and in every century of Christian History.A new genre of Bible—a weekly meditation Bible—Holy Bible: Mosaic is an invitation to experience Christ both in His word and in the responses of his people. Each week, as you reflect on guided Scripture readings aligned with the church seasons, you will receive a wealth of insight from historical and contemporary writings. Full-color artwork will engage the soul; quotes, hymns, prayers, and poems enhance the rich devotional experience. Also includes a Dictionary/Concordance, NLT word study system with Hebrew/ Greek dictionary. A beautiful layout of art and devotional content, and an online community and content (coming Fall 2009) will extend the experience.

I got to contribute to this project with a short meditation. Here’s a buying tip for the frugal. Pre-orders are possible at amazon.com at a guaranteed price, under 20$. (The list price is $49.99.)

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