The Danger of Haste

I hate cruise control.  I hate it but I love it.  But I hate it.  It is so limiting.   It requires me to go only at a certain pace.  I love it because I can relax and just ride.  I hate it because I want to get there ahead of the guy in front of me! In our world today, everyone is in a hurry.  Patients are dying in hospitals because of the haste to move on to the next patient.  Everyone is on the move.  We are squeezing every second out of one activity to pour into the next one.

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I remember once I was following the Governor’s secretary to do a funeral for the Governor’s relative.  We had to stop at a Burger King to take care of nature’s call.  By the time we came out, the secretary was out of sight.

I hastened to catch her and a State Trooper invited me over for a “time of fellowship.”  I implored him that I was following the Governor’s secretary and he said, “Sure, you are.”

Think about these things when you are galloping toward your next ferry that is about to pull out:

1.     It doesn’t matter.

  • 99% of what you are in such a hurry to do will not matter in ten years. All you will remember is the wreck you got in trying to cross the track ahead of the train.  That is, if you are around to remember it.
  • If you miss it, it will not matter. If you make it, often it won’t matter either.  “Perspective” slows you down to a sensible, rational speed.

2.    It’s the long haul that counts.

  • When you commit to something for at least ten years, it will succeed. In ten years, you have plenty of time for stops and starts.  So what if a light turns red and you have to wait one cycle?
  • Prioritize only the thing you can commit to for ten years. Write down your vision for each year.  It’s not the sprint, it’s the marathon that becomes your legacy.

3.    Enjoy the moment.

  • Haste robs you of the joy of “the moment.” You are so in a hurry to get to the next thing you don’t enjoy the success of this thing.
  • “Stop and smell the roses” is not in the Bible but it ought to be! Your kids will be grown before you turn around (trust me, it’s happened to me).  Don’t you dare miss every little graduation from K-4 trying to see one more client.

4.    Live to give.

  • The Samaritan was not in a hurry like the first two passers-by. He stopped and poured in the oil and wine.  He was not insulted by an interruption.
     
  • An opportunity to serve or help reminds you that others are suffering and you are blessed. Keep that perspective.  Go out of your way to inconvenience yourself for the sake of someone in distress.

I’m preaching to myself.  I hate that feeling of cruise control, of pacing myself perfectly within the speed limit.

Help me, Lord.