The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry – Book Review
The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
By John Mark Comer
If I had to identify the problem that John Mark Comer is trying to address in his new book “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry,” I would summarize it by using his quote that “hurry and love are incompatible.” And if love is valued most in the kingdom of Jesus and we as a people are too hurried to love, what are we doing?
Comer was a rising and successful pastor with a large and growing congregation. He had multiple services every Sunday, and to-do lists galore. All the while, sensing his soul withering away. After much consideration, prayer, and discussion with mentors, he decided to step away from the overstretched hurried life, and he asked to relocate to a small Church in the inner-city. He began a new journey of learning how to be present with people, how to be ok with interruptions, how to date his wife again, and enjoy the day’s sunset. Comer shared that his worst moments as a father, husband, pastor, and human being were when he was in a hurry. “Hurry and love are oil and water,” Comer emphasizes.
The second half of the book focuses on timeless disciplines to learn how to slow down. He shares Jesus as the example of a life that we are intended to replicate. Not just theology and ethics but THE WAY of living. Jesus was interrupted ALL of the time. Jesus found silence and solitude… often. Jesus took Sabbath rest seriously and taught that Sabbath is FOR the person. “Sabbath is rest and worship.” Sabbath isn’t a day to catch up on your lawn mowing; instead, it is a day to rest and worship in the most all-encompassing and life-giving manners. For example, sharing a moment with friends you love while being aware of God’s presence, or taking a walk with your family and being thankful to God for their love, or going on a drive in the Spring and being overwhelmed by God’s creativity and life-giving activity in the world. Comer wraps up his last portion of the book with a wonderfully challenging chapter discussing the space that simplicity creates in your life.
I began reading “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” before the Covid-19 Pandemic and finished the book during a national social distancing mandate. Most will find this book extremely relatable as we contrast our fast-paced lives before the pandemic to a life where many of us are uncomfortable with such slowness of pace. Allow this incredibly relevant book to challenge your assumptions about the pace of your life and all that unfolds from which pace you choose.
written by Captain Justin Caldwell, Divisional Youth Secretary, Massachusetts Division, USA East