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Hurry is the Enemy

The plans of the diligent end up in profit, but those who hurry end up with loss.

Proverbs 21:5

What’s fascinating to me about the holidays is how often they don’t feel like a holiday. Especially Christmas. A holiday should be a time to celebrate – a time to break from work and the other stressors of our lives. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Bro, you mean a vacation!” Well, for most Americans, you’re right. There’s a huge difference between a holiday and a vacation. Did you know in Europe they actually call their vacations a holiday? Can you imagine, “Yes, we’re excited to holiday in Breckenridge this summer.” I don’t want to holiday, and why would I. Holidays have the opposite effect of vacations. Vacations slow time down. Well, unless you have an overplanning spouse. Vacations are times to sit and reflect on the goodness of life. Holidays accelerate time. Think about all the things you squeeze in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. You decorate the house, put up the tree, send out the cards, go to party number one, party number two, the weird Zoom thing for work, get the gifts, wrap the gifts, hide the gifts, and don’t forget to move the elf. I can’t tell you the number of times Casey and I have sat on the couch Christmas morning, surrounded by a sea of wrapping paper, only to look at each other and say, “Phew, we made it.” When the speed of your life reaches a point where you feel out of control, you begin to hurry. And hurry is the enemy.

As a coach, I don’t want to see an athlete do anything in a hurry. Efficient, diligent, focused, those are all great. But don’t let me catch you in a hurry. Because when you’re in a hurry, you’re at risk to make a mistake. It’s one thing to forget to mail Aunt Edna her fruit cake, it’s another to load a barbell wrong or put yourself in a compromising position physically. The environment in our gym is built to foster encouragement as well as discipline. We teach athletes sound movement and encourage them along the way as they expose their movement patterns to new challenges. Hurry disrupts the entire process. And it operates the same way out of the gym. How can you really take in the goodness of life when you’re trying to get from Point A to Point B as fast as you can. You can’t. Hurry disrupts shalom. God’s never been in a hurry. Nowhere in the story of creation does it say anything about God hurrying. He wasn’t rushing to get everything created so He could finally have a rest day. His holiday, if you will, which we call the Sabbath, was so that He could enjoy creation. What’s moving so fast in your life right now you can’t even enjoy it?

Then there’s the cousin of hurry. A word that makes me cringe every time I hear it. A word that society has convinced us is a badge of honor. It’s busy. When I ask someone how they’re doing and they say “I’m busy,” I wonder what they’re missing in life at that moment. Think back to when you were in school and the teacher would assign a bunch of extra work. You know what we called that? Right, busy work. It was superfluous, unnecessary, and didn’t move the learning process along. Could you imagine your coach walking up to you in the gym and assigning some busy work? Or worse, what if your coach came over to see you during a WOD and you let her know that the workout was just busy work. We don’t chase busy in the gym, so why do we love it so much outside the gym? Getting the most out of life isn’t going to happen if you’re busy all the time. Busy makes us miss opportunity. I can’t see why God brought this new person into my life if my schedule is so jammed I can’t even grab lunch with them. Whether it’s a new business venture, a new friendship, or maybe just a new outlook on life, you can’t really dive into any of these when you’re busy. Margin is a hallmark of a spiritually fit life. And you’re the one in control of creating it. Maybe the new year will be less about pursuing busy and more about pursuing specific experiences, prioritized by what truly matters most in your life.

This year as you celebrate Christmas, I’m inviting you to take a true holiday. Clear your calendar and set aside some time to enjoy what matters most in your life – family, friends, your gym community. As you do, here are two conversation starting questions:

Where do you feel most hurried in your life?

What would it look like not to be busy all the time?

The harder you work to eliminate hurry and busy from your life, the more peace, joy, and satisfaction you’ll feel. It may not be easy, but trust me, it’s worth it. So, the next time someone says they’re in a hurry tell them, “hurry is the enemy.”

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