The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Addicted to hurry

In his book Addicted to (Judson Press, 2003), Kirk Byron Jones contends that speed is accepted as the regulating ideal of American life. People are so anxious to get on with whatever they have to do that they have no time for relationships and community. This is reason for concern, says Jones, who teaches ethics and pastoral ministry at Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, Mass.: "When hurry becomes a chronic condition, when we run even when there is no reason to, when we rush while performing even the most mundane tasks, it may be said that we have become addicted to hurry."

This need for speed can diminish the quality of our lives and put a negative spin on patience, judgment, depth, joy and dialogue. What lies behind this worship of the fast life?

Jones suggests we are running away from aches and fears, from ourselves and from God. He presents some spiritual strategies for slowing down. At the heart of his anti-rushing alternative is the practice of savoring our experiences — slowing down to smell the roses. Jones spells out what this can mean in chapters on seeing more clearly, listening more carefully and thinking more deeply.

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