“If the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy.” stated Corrie ten Boom, author and Holocaust advocate.

Dallas Willard, renowned author and Christian philosopher, once called ‘hurry’ the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. He further stated that we must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our life.

Guilty! I am guilty of allowing hurry into my life and God has been drawing my attention to that fact.

Why is this important? When we hurry, we are in a state of distraction. We become distracted from the things that matter most – God and people.

When we slow down, we are more present.

  • Our eyes are better able to take in the things around us. We notice beautiful colors, appreciate a majestic tree, a bright cloud-filled sky, a starry night, and any number of God’s gorgeous creations!
  • We hear more clearly what others are saying, the sounds in nature, the rhythm of our own breathing.
  • We become more observant.
  • Our taste is amplified when we focus on the food that we’re eating instead of the screen in front of us.
  • We become more sensitive to the tone and body language of those we are listening to. We are able to perceive feelings and emotions behind their words.

The list of benefits goes on and on. John Mark Comer, who wrote The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, summed up by saying that hurry and love, hurry and joy, hurry and peace are incompatible.

But, even more important than any of these things…when we are distracted, we are less spiritually sensitive to the voice and prompting of God’s Holy Spirit.

God doesn’t scream to get our attention. In the book of 1 Kings 19:9-13, an Old Testament prophet Elijah was hiding from his enemies in a cave. “The word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him…‘Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’”

Elijah heard the loud sounds of the wind, earthquake and fire. But the Lord’s voice was not in those loud noises. Then Elijah heard a quiet, still, small voice. He knew it was the Lord. God doesn’t scream; he whispers.

How can I possibly hear my Lord’s quiet, still, small voice if I am distracted by busyness?

My goal in 2024 is to hear clearly and more often from God. This will require that I position myself to do so. I am going to need to be more intentional about setting aside the noise and rush of my day-to-day life and seek a slower, quieter pace to hear from my King. That is most important to me. To hear from God – what He thinks, what He wants me to correct, what He wants me to do. It is what I was created for.

There will be so many other benefits as well – attention to, and appreciation of, the people and things around me. I want to be more present. Present in the daily gift of life, present in observing God’s beauty around me, present in my relationships. I don’t just want to live; I want to thrive.

I am reminded of the Bible verse that says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37-39 ESV)

 I resolve to slow down. Please help me in this, Jesus!


Sylvia Gaston is Connections Pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. She can be reached at sylvia@kchanford.com or 559-582-1528.