John Mark Comer – The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages, and having read it, I really wish I’d picked it up so much earlier (at the start of lockdown, but ideally way before that), as it has taught me so much about myself.

Just a heads up (I finished writing and had to come back to add this), this review feels a bit more like therapy than an actual review, but I just had to write about how much I personally connected to this book, so feel free to move on if you’re just wanting a straight up review 🙂

Like I said, I feel like I related so much to this book, the feelings of hurry and the signs that that exhibits.

“But the thing is, I feel like a ghost. Half alive, half dead. More numb than anything else; flat, one dimensional. Emotionally I live with an undercurrent of nonstop anxiety that rarely goes away, and a tinge of sadness, but mostly I just feel blaaah spiritually… empty. It’s like my soul is hollow.”

While that quote may be stronger than I’m feeling, I have struggled this past couple of years with feeling hollow and numb, and when I read that paragraph, I knew that this book would ‘get me’.

Which soon brought me to the next quote that jumped out at me:

“Corrie ten Boom once said that if the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy. There’s truth in that. Both sin and busyness have the exact same effect – they cut off your connection to God, to other people and even to your own soul.”

Right before lockdown started, I had been feeling close to burnout, I was so busy every night of the week and while I enjoyed each of the things individually, I felt like I was constantly busy. And even though I spent a lot of time at Church, I was losing connection.

“When we get overbusy and life is hectic and people are vying for our time, the quiet place is the first thing to go rather than our first go to. The first thing we lose is unhurried time to just sit with God in the quiet. To pray. Read a psalm. Take an internal inventory. Let our souls catch up to our bodies.

In seasons of busyness we need more time in the quiet place, not less, definitely not less.

The main takeaway I’m taking from this book is the need to bring back a sabbath day each week. I’ve always thought that a sabbath meant that so many things were prohibited and for that reason I had avoided it, but Comer explains that:

“The Sabbath isn’t the same thing as a day off. […] On the Sabbath all we do is rest and worship.”

Framed like that, it seems like something I can do, and something that will be hugely beneficial. Is social media rest or worship? For me, no. So a day away from social media. Is watching tv rest or worship. For me, yes, it can be both (depending on what I’m watching). So yes, I can do that, carefully. It’s about making thoughtful choices about how you spend the day. As Comer writes, Sabbath will look very different for different people, but that’s okay.

This is what I really want to take away. Because spending the whole week trying to avoid the distractions is never going to work. But a day away from the hurry and the rush and oriented towards God, I think I can manage that. I hope I can.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to everyone I know. Even if you’re not struggling as I am, I think this will be a hugely beneficial read to just think about how you spend your time and how you can be doing better.

My rating: 5Average rating: 4.62
304 pages. Published in: 2019
Read in Paperbackon 31st August – 14th September 2020

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