Before the lightbulb was invented (1879) the average adult slept 11 hours each night. Today, the average adult sleeps 7-8 hours. Being unrestrained by daylight, we have added more things to do resulting in less sleep and the loss of the “rhythm of life.” We learn about the rhythm of life in the history of creation (Genesis 1-2). The ratio for the rhythm of life is six days, work and one day, rest.

How often have you heard the saying, “So much to do; so little time to do it”? Think about it... What if we could add six hours to our day. Wouldn’t those extra hours soon be filled with even more things to do and even less time to rest? God set up our solar system with a prescribed number of hours in each day. He revealed a certain number of days of work in the six days of creation. The difference in the seventh day was that God BLESSED AND SANCTIFIED IT (emphasis, mine). God, Who never sleeps nor slumbers, doesn’t need rest. He blessed and sanctified the seventh day because He knows that we need it.

God, in His wisdom, set up the principle of the “rhythm of life.” His principles always work, no matter how old-fashioned or “off the wall” those principles may seem to us. On New Year’s Eve, I heard a sermon that laid out this vicious cycle very well. “Frenetic pace is incompatible with the kingdom of God – a downward spiral, in which God/Christianity becomes marginalized in Christians’ lives, which leads to a deteriorating relationship with God, which leads to Christians becoming even more vulnerable to adopting secular assumptions about how to live, which leads to more conformity to a culture of busyness, hurry & overload, which starts the cycle all over again.” (Quoted from the book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer)

In fact, Comer boldly adds that “hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life.” He calls this “hurry sickness.” Check yourself to see if you have this problem.

  • Are you irritable when you can’t get everything accomplished, usually taking your frustration out on those you love the most?
  • Do you try to get “just one more thing” marked off your list?
  • Do you escape what needs doing by binge watching TV or video games or binge-eating or alcohol/drug abuse?
  • Do you multi-task to the point that you forget one of your tasks?

Once caught up in this vicious cycle, is there a way out? “Hurry is the problem, but more time is not the solution.” (Comer) Determine your first priority is to become spiritually healthy. You do this by setting priorities and not allowing the urgent things that surface to throw you off track from the “rhythm of life.” The most important priority for a Christian is to spend time in God’s Word, praying and seeking His priorities for your life.

It seems that everyone, to one degree or another, deals with hurry sickness. I have found the five prayer points with which the New Year’s Eve pastor closed his sermon to be very helpful – not in a legalistic, “feel guilty if I can’t always follow them” way.

  • Prayer #1: “Lord, help me stick with the 6:1 ratio of the rhythm of rest.” It was the Judeo-Christian culture that influenced our work-week/weekend-off system.
  • Prayer #2: “Father, give me clarity about priorities for my life.”
  • Prayer #3: “God, I want to trust you with my life.” Heart-check: Am I doing things for my own glory or for God’s?
  • Prayer #4: “Help me focus on primary relationships.” On the Jewish Sabbath, everything shuts down & people spend time with family.
  • Prayer #5: WORSHIP – “God, you are more important to me than anything else in my life.”