The term “rush hour” defines a period of time when people move slowly or not at all – making it the epitome of a misnomer. Rushing in this instance has nothing to do with speed. It has more to do with the state of mind we tend to create for ourselves. In the moment we consider everything to be an obstacle, peace and freedom are replaced with a host of binding emotions which can often lead to irrational behavior.
We are the ones who stay up too late and sleep in the following morning. We are the ones who take our time getting ready. Yet we have the gall to disregard all of our own bad choices and turn the wrath of our anger (which should have been reserved for ourselves) on some stranger who just happened to get in our way. A mature responsible human being would be embarrassed for forcing everyone else to endure his recklessness yet it is dismissed as acceptable behavior. Why? Because we love our selfishness. We take pride in it. Why? Because it satisfies every son of man’s addiction for control.
Human beings more often than not do the exact opposite of what they should. When we get hurt, the last thing we do is take the logical steps to heal ourselves. The fact most people prefer to wallow in self-pity and employ self-destructive vices proves we live in a fallen world. Our illogical behavior should further remind us we were ultimately to blame.
No one works seven days a week for months or years to glorify God. They do it to glorify themselves. If there was any intention of glorifying God, carving out a day for rest as God commanded for our good would be something more than an afterthought. “You don’t know my situation…” Only a narcissist would think something so irrational. It seems we would rather have the reputation of being tireless and off guard, than rested and prepared.
It is an oversight to look at the way Jesus lived his life when we focus on the high points and breeze by the day to day events. Yes he died for the sins of man. Yes he fulfilled prophecies and preformed miracles. But he also did something unheard of: when he was hungry he ate. When he was tired he rested. When the spirit moved him, he fasted and prayed. When he was sad he wept. When the job was done he left. He was always where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to do. He didn’t compound problems as we do with an assortment of self-destructive behaviors.
We’ve become so destination minded we have forgotten the importance of enjoying where we are. We assume movement is going to change our condition and getting somewhere faster is going to be somehow rewarded when the opposite is true. We are so caught up with what we do for the sake of the future, we are ignoring every opportunity to experience joy in the here and now.
The director of a show I participated in would playfully and habitually use the term “Let’s Go” as a prodding tool to keep things moving. Because he was charming and charismatic, and, more importantly, the boss, things moved like clockwork. The words let’s go soon contracted even further into “t’s go” which was often echoed by the cast. It seemed harmless at first, but became more and more unsettling the more it was used by those without authority.
Someone without authority shoving someone into rush mode empowers the initiator, at the expense of the recipient and can have an adverse rippling effect. The prodding technique, let’s go, when used within the ranks of the cast, harshly implied someone else was not where they were supposed to be. Saying t’s go was now the equivalent of honking a horn at someone in traffic. Though it may get someone’s attention, it is most often counter-productive.
No one wins a race because someone near the finish line is pointing at their watch. Runners have winning potential due to committed trainers who have patiently and successfully instilled disciplines in those willing to compete before the race is run.
No one intentionally blocks the path of an ambulance. People are also more considerate to mail carriers, school buses, police and fire vehicles, even garbage trucks. In a restaurant’s kitchen, even the head chef gives right of way to the lowly apprentice when he is carrying hot soup. In the dining room, the patrons allow the waiter to pass when he is carrying a tray of food. Grace will always be given to those who serve in spite of the fact they may move more slowly and cautiously. Obstacles which weaken the spirit are therefore symptoms a person is self-serving, moving too fast or going the wrong way – all of which are readily cured by an adherence to God’s word.
There are those who feel they are winning by going faster, honking their horns and flashing their lights yet have no peace. If we go to bed on time after a solid day of work, we will likely have a restful night’s sleep. If we wake up on time and efficiently take care to prepare ourselves for the day, taking into account obstacles and detours, chances are we will maintain our peace. If we recall where we came from and where we are headed, we will be encouraged. Where there is peace and encouragement there is joy. If we are experiencing an enjoyable life, which is just one segment of the abundant life for which Jesus paved the way, I would not think we would want to rush.