What would it look like to cut hurry out of our lives? Is that even an option for us?
If slowing down is a desire of your heart that feels like a pipe dream, join me for a conversation with John Mark Comer. John Mark gives us hope that it’s possible and practical tips to help us get there!
John Mark Comer is the Founder and Teacher of Practicing the Way, a discipleship pathway to becoming like Jesus in community. Before starting Practicing the Way, John Mark pastored Bridgetown Church in Portland, Oregon, for nearly twenty years.
John Mark is a husband, a father of three, and a New York Times bestselling author who has written six books. His book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry is at the heart of our conversation today.
John Mark and I talk about how to rest, and I want to share a few things we discussed in the episode.
John Mark says we are in a cultural moment where some of the practices of spiritual disciplines that really matter right now are about engagement, meaning things you do. For example, devotional practices like bible study, church, and life in community. These are all things you do, and they require engagement. He explains there are other practices or spiritual disciplines that require abstinence, meaning you abstain from something. For example, fasting, which is abstaining from food. Silence and solitude, which is abstaining from noise and people. So, Sabbath is argued that it’s a little of both. But at its core, it’s the disciple of abstinence from working.
John Mark says that in our Western world, we need practices that help us slow down and break out of the routine of rushing through life. Looking at it from a big picture, Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV) says, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus is the perfect example of restfulness. He was never in a hurry, never too busy, nor stressed. He was relaxed, present in the moment, and joyful.
The goal is to become the kind of person who, in our body, becomes people of rest.
The first one is healthy busy. Which is when you have a lot to do, and you aren’t wasting your life on Netflix and Facebook. It’s when you are doing something meaningful with your life.
The second one is when you have too much to do and not enough time to do it well. So you have to speed up your body, mind, and relationships to this “life in the fast lane” pace. And over time, it turns us into people that Jesus didn’t have in mind for us to become.
John Mark says to start with quiet time in the morning. Sitting before God and giving Him enough time before the day begins. Calming of the mind and the soul, practicing some gratitude, reading some of the scriptures, and asking God for direction for the day.
If you cannot do it first thing in the morning, scheduling it during the day is fine, too. After this, you can move into Sabbath.
Make sure to listen to the full interview. There are so many more good things that were said in this episode and practical tips on how to rest.
“The two major areas where we actually follow Jesus and work out our spiritual formation are family or close interpersonal relationships and work.”
“We need as a general rule practices that help us slow down and break out of the mad rush through life.”
“Sabbath is a practice by which we cultivate a spirit of restfulness. It’s not just one day of the week but seven days of the week.”
“The goal is to become the kind of person in whom literally in our body, in our muscle memory, we have become people of rest.”
“Love, joy, and peace are incompatible with hurry.”
“Start where you are, not where you feel you should be.”
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