In the reflection on Day 37, we considered the possibility of falling into the condition of “burnout” when our life is extremely unbalanced and disorderly; not only does this negatively affect ourselves but also those around us and the entire community to which we belong.  Preceding this stage, we would  experience the undesirable condition of living in a constant state of “hurriedness”.  This is a common malady of people in today’s world, especially during a time of information explosion, and in a society that puts competitiveness at its forefront.  This mental epidemic continues to spread throughout society.  From the day little children start going to school, people are constantly kept busy without rest; even after their retirement, they fail to escape the clutch of a “hurried life”.  It seems that no one can be spared from this fate. Everyone is affected by this condition; the difference is the varying degrees to which each is affected.

Indeed, “efficiency”, or in other words, accomplishing the most in the shortest amount of time, is a source of our “addiction”.  At the core of this problem is our “competitiveness” and our tendency to challenge ourselves and others.  Thus, we cannot lay all the blame for this malady on social norms or society’s culture. In fact, the biggest culprit is “pride”.  

“Pride” tells us to only trust ourselves and rely on our own strength instead of relying on God and trusting others.  This provides the perfect incubator for our enemies to build upon our “pride” by adding “many things”: distractions, preferences, attachments, and addictions, until there’s no more room for God and the grace that He has prepared for us! 

Does efficiency imply better?  Does a lifestyle characterized by high efficiency and haste imply a perfect life?  In our everyday life, it is not difficult to find counter-examples.  For instance, chewing food slowly can improve our digestion; when we take time to consider all angles, we can make better decisions than when we rush into decisions. 

Under life’s pressure from different directions, most of us would simply yield to the clutch of “high efficiency” and willingly become slaves of “speed” and “efficiency”.  As we attempt to accomplish the most in the shortest amount of time, we tend to make a series of unhealthy compromises, and as a result, pay a hefty price for it. 

In the first place, “hurriedness” takes away healthy and meaningful relationships; exchanging our “heart of flesh” with a “heart of stone”. 

When we are overwhelmed with our work, thus, attempting to avoid disruptions from others, we become blind and deaf to the needs of others.  Our schedule doesn’t even allow for quality time with family and friends; or we may attempt to squeeze out our last few ounces of strength, only at the end of the day, to spend a few minutes with them.  Unfortunately, we also insert God in those last few minutes of our spare time. Since we cannot see God, we often take advantage of His generosity and benevolence by placing Him as our last priority.  God’s voice is gentle and only in silence that we may encounter Him.  How could we nurture an intimate relationship with God in a less than ideal environment where our life is hurried?  When we don’t have time to get to know and listen to God, how could we serve Him and fulfil His will? 

If we don’t understand God’s will and His mission for us, we are giving up a “meaningful life” for an “aimless existence”.  

We can find our life’s true worth by listening to God’s words as well as examining and reflecting on the ebbs and flows in our life and our relationships.  However, it is easy to make “reflection” a sacrificial lamb amidst our “hurried life” since the fruits of the habit of “reflection” are often difficult to detect.  Our inability to truly reflect on our life, coupled with the absence of God’s inspiration will make us like travellers without a compass; we lose our sense of direction and the road ahead of us becomes obscured.  In this way, we are only surviving instead of living; exhausting ourselves as we wander aimlessly, missing out the wonderful life that God has prepared for us!  In other words, such a life is superficial and worthless.  In this condition, we can never be truly “confident” in ourselves, as the confidence only comes from God!

Finally, the cost of efficiency is our ability to “live in the moment”; rendering us helpless to slow down and enjoy life, and missing out on the opportunity to discern the presence of God, His footprints, His concerns for us, and His gaze on us… 

In other words, over-exertion due to a “hurried life” has lasting and serious repercussions, such as stress or even depression.

When we look at Jesus’ life, the pressure He faced must have been a thousand times more severe than ours, and He had to accomplish the impossible in a very short time; however, He refused to seek efficiency in an earthly sense but focused on the most important things in life, that is, the Father and His will.

Following Jesus’ example, we know that true efficiency and the peace of God will be given us without limit!  


In your life, have you made “speed” and “efficiency” your “idols”?  What price have you paid for them?

Does your “hurried life” lead you to face the world and treat others with indifference; thus sacrificing your interpersonal relationships?  Please listen in your heart of hearts for God’s inspiration.

Once you have understood the harmful effects of “many things” and a “hurried life”, what do you think God is asking you to change, so that you may “live in the moment”?

Today’s Prayer

Dear Abba Father, I now recognize that my “hurried life” has replaced my compassionate heart; turning the gentle heart that You have given me into a heart of stone.  I know I have been stingy about spending time with others and failed to appreciate and enjoy all You have bestowed on me.  I have also failed to make room for You in my heart.  My God, this is not my intention; but my weaknesses and pride have forced me to abandon You and all the good things You intended for me.  Save me from my recklessness and confusion so that I may be able to receive Your peace and blessing.  I don’t want to simply survive but to seek a life in You.  For this I pray, in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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