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WEEK ONE (A): Slow Down I Want To Get Off!

Study A: Are you suffering from ‘hurry sickness’?


Introduction

Have you ever been irritated because your train left ten minutes late? Or because there was a queue at the supermarket till? Or because someone was driving slowly in front of you? Or even because someone took their time getting to the point? (don’t worry – I’m nearly there!) Then you suffer from what Cardiologist Meyer Friedman calls ‘Hurry Sickness’.[1] Try this short self-analysis test:

  1. Do you regularly work thirty minutes a day longer than your contracted hours?

  2. Do you check work emails and phone messages at home?

  3. Has anyone ever said to you, ‘I didn't want to trouble you because I know how busy you are.’

  4. Do your family or friends complain about not getting enough time with you?

  5. If tomorrow evening was unexpectedly freed up, would you use it to do work or a household chore?

  6. Do you often feel tired during the day or do you find your neck and shoulders aching?

  7. Do you often exceed the speed limit when driving?

  8. Do you make use of any flexible working arrangements offered by your employers?

  9. Do you pray with your spouse or children regularly?

  10. Do you have enough time to pray?

  11. Do you have a hobby in which you are actively involved?

  12. Do you eat together as a family or household at least once a day?

If you mainly answered ‘Yes’ to questions 1-7 and ‘No’ to questions 8-12 then maybe you have a busyness problem.


Chester argues that we are too busy in all areas of our lives!


  • Brits work an hour longer a day than our European counterparts, get far less holiday, lunch ‘hours’ average 27 min, average commutes to work are 38 min and retirement age is rising!

  • We ‘relax’ by going to the gym, driving across town to a movie or shopping, the ultimate exhauster!

  • 8/10 British workers feel their health has been affected, 605 feel their workloads are out of control, ¾ of us go to work when we’re ill and we get two hours less sleep per night compared with 1910![2]


Bible Study

Chester even suggests that we are too busy to think! ‘Time will tell’ we used to say but today we can’t wait that long.

  1. READ Proverbs 1:7 Where does this tell us about the value in making time to think? Where does wisdom come from?

  2. READ Isaiah 40:6, 8 What do you deduce from this passage about the relationship of time and wisdom?

  3. Read Hebrews 10: 24-25

  4. Are we too busy to for relationships? Are most of them superficial, at surface level? Does the same apply at church? Do we hunger for relationships of greater substance? How can we go deeper?

  5. READ Acts 2:42-47

  6. What do you find attractive about the relationships in the early church? In what ways could we foster greater fellowship so that we have ‘everything in common’?

  7. Research suggest that Christians are a good deal worse off for time than others. We face the challenge of ‘time impoverishment.’

  8. Read Acts 24:24-27

  9. What lessons can we learn from Felix’s mistakes?

  10. Are we so busy doing church that we don’t have time for Jesus?


TOO BUSY TO PRAY?

Consider which things have really spoken to you from Tim Chester’s facts and your study of the bible passages. Spend some time repenting of excuses you often make for not spending enough time with God and other people. Make some promises to God regarding small changes you will attempt to make. Perhaps write this down on a piece of paper and give it to someone else in the group. Ask them to ask you how you are getting on next time they see you!


Here are some ‘fresh ideas’ if you are struggling to think of practical ideas for change:

  • Write a prayer that expresses your heartfelt desire to follow God in this season of your life. If you keep it somewhere close, then you have a starting point for your daily time with God.

  • Read one Psalm each day.

  • Use a journal. You can write your prayers to God. You can list concerns or what you're grateful for. You can write the first thing that comes to mind when you consider what God is doing in your life.

  • Stop and listen. Too often we feel we aren't doing anything if we aren't doing anything. That's not true. Sit before God in silence, inviting Him to recalibrate your soul (see Psalm 46:10).

  • Practise posturing. Allow your body to reflect your heart. Bow low in humility before God, get on your knees in prayer, or hold your hands out in acknowledgement that anything you receive comes from God.

  • Get a Bible dictionary and read some background information about the Bible passage you're reading. Understand more about the ears those words first fell on. You might read something in a whole new light (see Psalm 119:33-35).

  • Think more deeply about small bits. Let that one verse roll around in your mind for a few minutes instead of reading five more verses. Give God room to surprise you with insight. If you read only three verses in that sitting, that's OK (see Psalm 119:47-48).

  • Pray Scripture back to God. Pick a passage and pray the same one for a week at a time, allowing it to fully sink in.

  • Get really honest with God. Let go of old ideas about how you "should" approach God. Pour out your heart to Him (see Psalm 62:8). Trust Him to be big enough to handle whatever you're dealing with. MS

[1] Chester, T., The Busy Christians Guide To Busyness (10)


[2] Chester, T., The Busy Christians Guide... (10-12)