By The Fireside: Why The Rush?

“For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?”

Ecclesiastes 2:25

Why The Rush?

You pull your phone out to see if the numbers on the screen have changed at all as the work day nears its end. What’s the rush? Got to pick up the kids! You join the traffic around the schools with herds of impatient parents. Why? Got to get home! More driving, the radio signaling the passing of time, impetus fills every turn. What will you do when you get there? Got to fix supper! After a mad flurry of beeping microwaves and timers, the food is too hot. Blow on it! Hurry, eat, we have things to do!

In a few moments the ‘things’ are all done… what was all the rush for? “So we can RELAX. That’s what we REALLY enjoy doing.

Do you hurry through necessary and worthwhile somethings so you can have more time to do valueless nothings?

“If I hurry through my morning tasks at work, I can make time for a break before lunch.”

“If I can just get my homework done quicker, I can veg out in front of the TV longer.”

I was painting an obscure part of my basement when I thought over my to-do list. I instantly felt anxious about getting done. “Who will even see this when you’re done?” My mind reasoned. I started to get sloppy; the paint went on thinly. My present task wasn’t important to anyone else’s impression of me or my workmanship.

I smiled because I thought of what I would do next- and then realized there was nothing to do!. I should have been excited at the thought of a task-free evening; instead, it saddened me. Oh sure, I would never turn down a hot cup of coffee and a book, and playing with my children is never a waste of time; what was it then that made that bright prospect dim?

Though my painting was not important to others, it was still important to me. I had made time to do this job today, and I will never take time for it again. If I didn’t do it right the first time, when would I ever have time to do it again? I wanted the satisfaction of knowing that the job was well done.

Gerard Nierenberg gave this advice:

“Although it is popular today to deplore the shoddiness of practically everything, we tend to forget that… craftsmanship has always commanded a premium price and fine products can still be found today if you are willing to pay the price (time).”

Those of us who can look back 30 years… can pick out any number of goals that we probably neglected. We might call this the “If only I had…” list. All of us can look back and see what we SHOULD have done. The difficult thing is to choose what we should do now.”

Solomon in his struggle with the selfishness in the world reasons that if hurrying to the next thing brings happiness, he should be happy. But it is obvious from this record that he was not.

If you are seeking a “Well done” from the Heavenly Master, know that there is no reward for rushing. The greatest satisfaction of all comes when you finish fully the work, the learning, the worship, the conversation, the prayer, or “the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

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