November 7, 2021 – Pastor Mark Albrecht

Phil. 1:27-2:4

Message Big Idea –  Busy lives with crowded calendars often lead us to a frenzied pace and a constant need to hurry. Jesus was very busy with seemingly endless demands and expectations placed upon Him – he always treated people with compassion, he tirelessly served others, and he accomplished more than anyone in human history. Yet he lived an unhurried life. Is Hurry simply the inevitable result of a crowded calendar, or is Hurry really a posture of the heart?”  Can we really “unlearn” our lifestyle of hurry and impatience?

Reflect on the following sequence of questions. If you are doing this with others, share your responses with them.

LEAN IN >> Think about it.

  • What are you grateful for this week? What are you struggling with?
  • How easy would it be for you to perform an average workday without the ability to know what time it is?

LOOK DOWN >> Read the following passages and discuss or reflect on the  the corresponding questions:

  • Read Mark 1:32-37 (Read twice – ESV and either NLT or Message)
  • Briefly retell the passage in your own words.
  • What word or phrase “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most?
  • What does this passage tell us about God? About Us? About the world?

LOOK OUT >> Connect the world of the Bible to our culture.

  • Does the pace of our culture and society encourage or discourage hurry? 
  • Name two different cultural influences (example: food establishments/meals) that have influenced you towards or away from hurry last week.

LOOK IN >> Go straight to the heart of the matter.

  • Pastor Mark showed us that Jesus woke early before big ministry days to ‘get in tune’ with the voice of the Spirit before all the other voices crowd in for influence. What would that look like for you to apply this principle in your morning one time this week?
  • Pastor Mark detailed that clarity and intentionality are trademarks of Jesus that helped Him not be distracted from His divine calling. How much does clarity of mission and intentionality to achieve that calling influence you away from hurry on a regular basis?
  • Part of Pastor Mark’s suggestions for unlearning hurry was to make room for margin in your everyday life. What is the easiest way for you to apply this suggestion?

LIVE IT OUT >> Put it into action.

  • Journal your thoughts about this message and the area of hurry. 
  • What is God telling you to do as a result of this message and passage?
  • Who can you tell about taking a step of obedience in this area?
  • Follow the suggestions on the next page for practice in an unhurried life. Using your calendar block off times in a day, or even an entire day, morning, afternoon to get away and rest in God.

1. Slowing down. This begins with the body and in time incorporates the mind and heart. Choose to walk more slowly, answer someone more slowly (pause before answering), eat more slowly, drive more slowly, put a buffer of time before meetings, choose to stand in a longer line rather than a shorter line when at the store, do not rush to check or answer email or pick up your phone when it rings, leave earlier for meetings…. As you enter into these practices pay attention to your internal messages, feelings and seek to bring all this to God. As you learn to slow down it enable you to enter into times of rest more quickly. 

It will take time to get into the rhythm of an unhurried life, just like it takes longer for a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed to come to rest as opposed to a vehicle traveling at a slower rate of speed. As we slow down we are preparing ourselves to be able to truly rest and even incorporate the practice of Sabbath in our lives. The discipline of slowing down helps us to enter into and enjoy the life giving, transforming properties of rest.

One of the most profound ways of beginning to slow down is to choose to walk more slowly. That is a good place to start. 

2. Begin by stopping for a couple of minutes throughout your day to simply become aware of your breathing and remind yourself that God, the Creator and Redeemer, is with you. It is God who breathed life into you and continues to sustain you. 

3. Take a mini-Sabbath (7-15 minutes) to refocus your heart and mind toward God. 

4. Replace multi-tasking with single-tasking. Seeking to be present to that which you are doing in the moment letting go of thoughts about the past, concerns about the future.

5. Take a power rest in Jesus. Schedule 15–20 minutes of silence and focus on an attribute of God and rest, closing your eyes and being still.

6. Develop a plan for extended times of rest. Ask yourself: What would be most restful for me…  Walking at the beach, park, in the neighborhood?  Taking a long bubble bath?  Lying in a hammock?  Playing with my dog?  Flying a kite, hiking, taking a bike ride, preparing a meal, camping, surfing, swimming, blowing bubbles, juggling…? Finding a quiet spot for “doing nothing”? Gardening? Think through what you would do if you had an hour, an afternoon, or a day for rest. Then invite Jesus to join you during this time with you and seek to be present to Jesus throughout your time of rest.

7. Endeavor to sleep a healthy length of time 6 1/2 – 8 hours.

8. Take a *Sabbath – an entire 24 hour period to slow down, to rest, to be with God in the spacious meadow of time and leisure.

*Sabbath: God created us as beings who need to rest, our first full day on earth involved resting but it seems that humanity did not sense the need to rest so God made it a commandment (the longest of the 10 commandments) – mankind transformed this commandment to take a day to rest into a day of bondage to external rules that sucked the life giving properties of Sabbath right out of it. Jesus speaks into this dire situation and reminds all of the original intention of the Sabbath, a gift from God for humanity; “Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.” Enjoy the gift of rest. Enjoy God. Enjoy.