life balance

5 Antidotes for Hurry Sickness

Hurry sickness like most undetected diseases is a silent killer. The sobering fact is that hurry sickness could be wrecking havoc in our lives without us even knowing it. Make no mistake about it; hurry sickness is a killer disease. It kills relationships, it kills productivity, it kills perspective and priorities, it kills spontaneity and the joy of the moment and worst of all it kills spirituality. How can that be?

More often than not, hurry sickness forces us to sacrifice the important things in life for those things which seem urgent, but are not as important. Years ago Charles Hummel, in a little booklet by the same title, identified this tendency as the “Tyranny of the Urgent.” Urgency, although a life saver when it is an appropriate response, becomes a tyrant when everyday life suffers from its inflated and incessant demands.

Hurry sickness is therefore defined as “a behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency.” (

How do you know if you have hurry sickness? Simply measure your life against the definition. If you frequently feel rushed, anxious, overwhelmed and/or are always battling a sense of urgency, then you have it. Ouch! I’ve got it! Do you?

The bigger question then becomes, what do we do about it? Having battled this disease most of my life I’ve realized there are no easy answers. I have discovered however that getting older helps. One of the benefits of aging is that a person begins to gain some perspective that everything isn’t as urgent as it once seemed. And the really important things in life have a way of coming into to focus more readily. For this I am thankful.

3 lessons I wish I had learned earlier in life

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Some lessons I wish I had learned earlier in life. It’s been said that experience is the best teacher. Unfortunately that is not necessarily the case. Actually the best teacher is evaluated experience. Only those who seek to learn from bad experiences are destined not to repeat them. Evaluated experience leads to wisdom. And there is no better source of wisdom than perspective that comes from God inspired evaluation.

That is what this short prayer from Psalm 90 is all about. It is a prayer that I now pray frequently and have adopted as one of my life verses. It is noteworthy that Moses is the author of this Psalm. There is probably no one better qualified than him to pray so authoritatively for wisdom. After spending forty years exile in the wilderness evaluating his deadly misjudgments in Egypt he knew what it meant to number his days aright. And the heart of wisdom God imparted to him during that time positioned him at age eighty to begin a forty year run as one of the greatest leaders of all time.

Managing life’s tensions

Last week at the Willow Creek Association’s annual Leadership Summit I heard a great message entitled the Upside of Tension. It was given by Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church in Georgia. His premise was that there are some tensions in life and in the church that are not meant to be resolved. In fact solving them will likely just create new tensions. They are tensions that are to be managed and not to be solved. Andy’s point was that proper management of them actually produces great benefit and progress.

The key to a no regrets life

Recently I came across an article written by a woman who worked with patients who were in hospice care. The article, Top Five Regrets of the Dying, outlined the summary of the patient’s response to her question about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently. They were “common themes that surfaced again and again.”

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