“I can’t believe how fast things move on the outside. The world went and got itself into a big damn hurry.” Brooks, from the film Shawshank Redemption.
I get speeding tickets and maybe you do as well. But, I have yet to meet anyone else who has received a ticket from Highway Patrol for following to close (I am the #8 car). It was 15 years ago on the 405 in Los Angeles when Frank Poncherello did me, and you, a favor by citing me. Those who have ridden with me may begin shaking head from right to left and say, “I am not surprised.”
Don’t get me wrong being speedy works well in work and life. The snappy ones are almost never late for work, their assignments are done early and things just seem to get done. Of course, this mode of living does not lend itself to prayer. Metropolitan ANTHONY Bloom in his fantastic little book, Beginning to Pray, said,
We can pray to God only if we are established in a state of stability and inner peace face to face with God, and these things release us from the sense of time – not objective time, the kind we watch – but the subjective sense that time is running fast and that we have no time left. Hurry is what prevents us from being completely in the present moment, which I dare say is the only moment in which we can be, because even if we imagine that we are ahead of time or ahead of ourselves, we are not. This is the kind of thing we must learn about prayer, to establish ourselves in the present.
Hurry ruins prayer because prayer, and life itself, happens in the present and those in a hurry are never in the present they are always rushing from the past into the future being nowhere at any moment.
Do you know that story about Christ being in the boat with His disciples on the Sea of Galilee? He is asleep when an intense storm comes up that panics the disciples. They wake Jesus and say, “Don’t you care that we are perishing?” And Jesus stands up and tells the storm to be still, to be quiet. Two things are true; storms come to all and we are able to have the same stillness Jesus has in the present moment. Staying face to face with God calms storms and / or allows the storm to rage around us while we remain where God is.