The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer [Book Summary]

We all don’t have time. Even Bill Gates as well, for his entire riches and brilliance, basically cannot bring up more hours in the day. Therefore, why do we use a lot of our time on our smartphones or running around breathlessly without pausing to ponder on what we are doing? 

John Mark Comer a pastor was a victim of what he names the hurry disease. On paper, his life seemed really successful and interesting since he was a busy man running a fast-developing church. However, on the inside, he was tired and nervous. He understood that if he kept going that way he was on he would become more and more successful – and more and more sad.

So, had to amend how he lived basically. However, how? He understood that the solutions he was searching for had been there in the Bible all these while.

By following Jesus really as much as in word, Comer understood how to slow down, enjoy the world that surrounds him, and begin living a much more satisfying life. In this book, he shares four basic; however, radical practices that will enable you to do what he did.

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Chapter 1 – Pastor John Mark Comer understood that being really busy was ruining his relationships, health and his connection to his faith. 

Our lives are made of a series of moments. However, what if you’re really busy and worried that you fail to appreciate the present moment? 

On paper, Comer was really successful. He had a fast-growing church in Portland, Oregon. Yearly a new thousand members joined the church – testimony to his powers as a pastor. He had a wife with children and the author of numerous books. 

However, beneath these whole successes, he felt a regular buzz of anxiety. 

He worked for six days every week and taught like six classes every day. His relationships with his worker were anxious because he snapped at them, his stress spilling over onto the people that surround him.  During the night, he would crash on the couch, mindlessly seeing Kung Fu films. He felt hollow and exhausted, just like a ghost in his own life. 

He had an epiphany while on a plane home from London. He questioned himself, Who am I turning into? He understood that while he had developed a successful church, he had gone more astray from his spiritual mission. He’d become more like the CEO of big business, stuck in meetings every day. However, his passion lay in relating to his church members.

He sucked up his entire courage and said to the leadership of his church that he was stepping down. Rather than managing the entire work of the megachurch, he wanted to go after his desire to Portland’s inner city and become a pastor of the only small church there. They acknowledged his resignation, and he was allowed.

During the first six months, he totally crashed due to all his accumulated tiredness. Also, he felt like he had to get rid of the busy routine he’d been living, nearly as though the entire stress had been a drug. 

Progressively he was able to improve both emotionally and spiritually. He had spare time to spend with his children, walk the dog, go to therapy. 

He had become very less successful to an external onlooker: from the leader of a megachurch with a lot of branches and thousands of members to the pastor of a little, unknown church in Portland’s inner city. But, he understood that for him actual success entailed having emotional and spiritual health and that he was on the correct path

Chapter 2 – Hurry is a danger to both our emotional health and spiritual life.

When a person questions you how you’re doing, how usually do you answer with you’re “busy,” or “stressed”? It has become really ordinary to hurry from task to task always that we usually don’t even see that we’re doing it or reason that life could be different.

Being pathologically busy affects class lines and geographic settings. You might be a rich CEO in India or a struggling single mom in Indiana; however, probabilities are you’ll be busy.

However, what is the problem with being busy?

There is a cost to your physical and emotional health. If you are a religious person, it can extremely restrict your relationship with God, as well.

One time Carl Jung mentioned that “Hurry is not of the devil; hurry is the devil.” It might look a little exaggerated to portray hurry as being evil; however, just consider the effect. 

Rather than getting a peaceful time for devotion and cultivating our faith, we’re busy checking through Instagram feeds or wildly replying emails. Rather than using Sundays in church or chilling with loved ones, we’re extremely busy from one task to the other. 

Love is the most significant religious value. But, love requires time to practice. Imagine yourself when you’re running late and attempting to hurry your family to leave the house. Probabilities are, you’re critical and short-tempered and irritable. That is certainly not a loving condition. 

On the contrary, slowness has gotten a bad reputation. We make use of it as an insult to say that people are not clever, or that the service in a restaurant is not good. But, slowing down can the only thing we require to reconnect with our faith and live satisfying lives.

Nevertheless, there’s a purpose why we are called to walk with Jesus, not run with Jesus. Slowness gives us the time we require to enjoy our relationships, think of our behaviors, and connect with our spiritual mentors.

Therefore, when next you’re dining across a table laughing with your family, and your phone beeps with another “urgent” email, identify the disturbance for what it truly is. It is not just removing you from your breakfast; however, it is also taking you from your spiritual life. And it can be done after.

Chapter 3 – New technologies have basically changed our relationship to time and allowed us to be busier.

Think of an era before clocks. The only means you could know the time was to check the spot of the sun in the sky. 

That was changed immediately the mechanical clock was created by monks who required a dependable method to call people to prayer at fixed times. During 1370, the first public clock tower was built in Cologne, Germany. At that moment any member of the public could know precisely what time it was as they walked across the church square. 

Rather than going with the flow of the sun and the moon; now people followed the direction of this new artificial clock. 

The second key improvement to alter our relationship to time was the creation of the light bulb by Thomas Edison in 1879. At that moment, rather than clustering around the dim light of candles, people’s houses could be brilliantly illuminated even after the sunset! That had direct magnitudes for how long people relaxed and slept.

Before the creation of the light bulb, average Americans slept for eleven hours per night; however, now they sleep for just seven hours. It is no surprise that they’re regularly tired!

We have zillions of technologies made to save us time. Rather than traveling by horseback, we can travel a hundred kilometers just in one hour behind the wheel of a car. Rather than cutting down a tree to make a fire, our homes can be warm by only switching on the thermostat on our smartphones.

These discoveries have truly saved us time. Consider the smartphone, for instance. It is unquestionably beneficial. We can respond to emails while killing time on the bus, take and immediately send baby pictures to grandparents across the globe, and look for a way out of the urban wilderness within minutes by trailing the blue dot on the map.

Also, smartphones are huge sinkholes of time as well. A new study included in Business Insider stated that the average people that use iPhones touch their phones at least 2,617 times each day! 

Therefore, what is the solution? Aside from a major escape to a substitute community living off the grid, we can’t go back to a life that doesn’t have artificial light, smartphones or clocks. 

We don’t need to cast-off every technology. But, we would do well to become really doubtful of the potentials of technology. Speed doesn’t usually entail convenience. And perhaps getting lost one time in a while isn’t really a bad thing. Nevertheless, roaming aimlessly around can also offer us a beneficial time to reflect.

Chapter 4 – Attempting to do everything and be all over the place is not realistic and is making us tired. 

Have you ever reasoned that perhaps your whole issues would be fixed if only you had more time? Picture if we had ten more hours daily!

You’re most likely happily considering all the things you could do with that additional time. In that lies the issue. Getting extra time won’t essentially make us less busy. It’ll only signify that we have extra time to be busy. 

This reason is that we live in a “FOMO,” or “fear of missing out,” society. Due to that, we attempt and do everything possible, watch all movies, listen to every podcast, travel to all countries. But, we are not superheroes with endless resources. We are human beings, with built-in restrictions that limit what we’ll be able to achieve in our lives.

Therefore, for us to change our busy, chaotic lives, we don’t require extra time. Rather, we have to dedicate the restricted time we have to concentrate on doing the things that are most significant to us – and that we are able to do well.

For instance, every one of us possesses distinct qualities. Someone may be great at coping with stress, while another person becomes burned out under the weight of a lot of deadlines. A person may be good at associating with crowds, while another person more of an introvert. 

Every one of us is blessed with different abilities that can enable or restrict what we do. Practicing the violin consistently will make you go far; however, if you’re not gifted with a good sense of pitch you will not be able to make it as a professional musician. 

Also, socioeconomic issues will impact what we can devote our scarce time to. Some of us possess the edge of being born into a rich home, which will entail that we can bear to dedicate time to a good education. However, people like us who come from less rich homes might not have time for education and might’ve had to leave school to assist support our families.

Dwelling upon these restrictions in our lives might seem really negative. But, being realistic about the things which limit what we can do is really empowering. It can remove some of the pressure of attempting to do everything and be all over the place. And it can drive us to make sensible decisions about what we truly want to do with our lives, within the limitations we have. Time isn’t endless; therefore, we’d better maximize it. 

Chapter 5 – For you to have significant, unhurried spiritual lives, we have to imitate Jesus’s way of life.

If you’ve attended a church service before, you can most likely recite the Ten Commandments by heart. However, can you also recollect what Jesus did in His daily life? 

The Bible is not just a book of ethical teachings. Also, it contains a biography, though we hardly see it like that. It provides us a full story of what Jesus’s life was like, day today. He did, and mentioned, and how He practiced his faith. 

We’ve come to consider spiritual practices as being great and irrelevant; however, that’s not the case. As a matter of fact, spiritual practices are really realistic. Long before the idea of mindfulness became popular, Jesus was displaying to us how to be in the moment and truly engage with life.

Stories from the Bible show that Jesus was never for once in a hurry. Although He usually had many things to do, He usually took his time. For instance, in a story, a man called Jairus pleads with Jesus to come and cure his daughter, whose life is at risk. Jesus follows him; however, on the way is disturbed by a woman who is chronically sick and needs assistance. Jesus is completely present and observant to her and calmly assist her before proceeding His way to see Jairus’s daughter. His life is busy; however, He is relaxed. There was no spot for hurry or stress in His agenda.

Also, Jesus took time out for Himself, ensuring to restore in-between engagements. However, He wasn’t a loner. Every opportunity He had He use if for long dinners with friends, drinking wine and discussing what is truly significant in life. 

He got time for those dinners because He wasn’t running about attempting to gather more money or purchase a larger house. Jesus lived humbly, taking just what He truly required and prioritizing what truly mattered. 

You may be wondering what that’s all really good for Jesus. He could bear to vanish to pray or be with friends the entire because He lived before the introduction of modern technology and didn’t have any nine-to-five work or kids. 

Those are accurate points. There are vital manners in which our lives differ from the life of Jesus. But, a lot of His practices are adaptable, even in these chaotic modern eras. In the next chapters, you’ll learn about four basic practices inspired by Jesus’s lifestyle which can change your relationship to time and enable you to prioritize what is truly significant.

Chapter 6 – Ensure to make time for silence and privacy daily.

Our universe has become noisier than before. Social media entails that even though we are physically alone, we are hardly alone with our feelings.

Formerly, moments for quiet thought were built into our lives. Standing in line, looking outside the window on a bus, we had time to listen to ourselves think. That type of privacy (which some people may refer to as boredom) has become all but extinct, as the majority of us use these in-between moments viewing our smartphone notifications. 

What are the repercussions of being constantly stimulated by technology?

The symptoms of overusing technology are more anxiety, tiredness, and general ill-temperateness. Also, we can begin to feel withdrawn from ourselves, living life in a sensitive mode awaiting the next vibration in our pocket.

How can we remove this overstimulated way of life? As we understood in the former chapter, Jesus lay a perfect example. Jesus’s devotion to silence and privacy was significant to how He lived his life – and practiced his faith. 

In spite of being a really busy man with desperate people putting their hopes on Him to do miracles, Jesus ensured to prioritize time by Himself. He would usually stand up early and vanish out on His own to get some peace before anybody got up. One specific busy day when He didn’t get a moment to himself, he even went up a mountain and prayed the entire night. Having that time by himself was fixed; He would do whatsoever it took. 

We, as well, are in desperate need of both silence and privacy to live emotionally healthy lives. 

You don’t have to climb a mountain to have some time alone. You can just stand up an hour earlier than the people of your household and relish a cup of coffee in your best armchair. Or drop off at the subway a stop earlier and have a relaxed walk to work, taking in the entire colors and textures of the world as you walk by.

Remove your headphones and leave the podcasts alone. 

Let yourself feel whatsoever feelings bubble up and to be with all the hectic feelings racing through your head. You may face some disturbing or ugly feeling that you’ve been evading. Let them be there. 

As you carry on with this routine, you’ll know that privacy is anything but lonely. It lets for a deep connection to ourselves and our world.

Chapter 7 – Take a break each week for you to rest and worship.

Only in the past few decades ago, on Sunday, Americans would wake up to a really quiet world. The entire shops were closed, and also businesses too. There was absolutely nothing to do.

Well, not nothing. You could use that time to stay with your family and friends. Go to a local park or even go to church. Sleep on the couch. Prepare a meal. 

Taking a day of rest each week is a golden instruction for several key religions. Even God, strong as He is, took a day to rest after six days of busily forming our world. 

But, as society has become more worldly and concerned with commercial interests, this time for rest has been consumed. 

Nowadays, you can shop at any time you want either day or night. Do you urgently need for tracksuit pants? Not hard, you can go to a 24-hour Kmart. You don’t feel like going out of your house? The shops present on the internet can be reached just with the click of a button. 

Things aren’t even better in the field of work. While our ancestors fought really hard for a five-day workweek, now, we go around our workplaces on our phones, and work has seeped into every aspect of our lives. It is no surprise that having a burnout has become common.  We don’t remember how to rest anymore.

How can we solve this? We have to bring back the idea of the Sabbath – a day for resting and worshiping. 

There is no difficult rule for how you practice that. Your understanding of rest might be just walking along the beach or taking a nap in a patch of sun. Or eventually getting the opportunity to assist your daughter to construct that Lego pirate ship that she’s been stressing you about. 

According to you, worship may happen far beyond the walls of the church. Worship can be viewed as any task that makes you concentrate on and enjoy the world around you. It may be sitting in the garden sipping wine with some close friends. Or attending a concert and allowing the strong vibrations of the music wash over you. 

Also, as in music, pauses are very significant in our lives. In any musical composition, pauses enable us to enjoy the notes which have come before and given importance to the melodies after it. The same applies to life – if we rush carelessly through the week with no time to pause we will not have any time to value what we have or renew ourselves for what is to come. 

Chapter 8 – By consuming less and sharing more, we’ll get extra time for the things that are truly significant. 

How many pairs of shoes are in your wardrobe? Also, how many of those pairs have you used as of late?

If responding to those questions has brought on any guilty feelings, you don’t need to yourself. Our current consumer culture has evolved due to our change from a needs-based economy to a desires-based economy over the last century. Industrialization allowed it to be likely to mass-produce goods, and, pummeled by messages from the classy advertising industry, we usually assume that we have to consume more to become whole.

However, things were formerly like this. Just in the last one hundred years ago, 90% of the entire Americans got their living by farming the land. They produced their own food, exchanged goods with neighbors, and barely ever made use of money. But, nowadays, just 2% of Americans work in agriculture. Now we rely on money for everything and have become stuck in a cycle of over-consumption where we continue purchasing things we don’t essentially need.

However, purchasing more and more goods doesn’t just cost us money – it reduces from the little amount of time we have to live our lives.

Therefore, if we really want to remove hurry from our lives, we need to stop ourselves from longing for pointless things. 

Jesus preached that money isn’t significant– that the way to living a good life is just to have what we truly require and to give the remaining away. 

You might be worried at the outlook of clearing your house and living out your days in a pair of jeans. However, there are less radical methods of making our lives simple and stopping ourselves from dependence on things.

Before swiping your credit card, think through to yourself, “What is the real price of this item?” How many hours of my time does it require to purchase it? Do I truly want it, or do I have something related that performs the job? Rather than purchasing on desire, think of the significance of what you’re buying in comparison to the price. 

In addition to consuming less, sharing our current possessions is a great method to live a less materialistic way of life. For instance, participating in a car-share scheme with neighbors will not just reduce costs (and so time) however, it will also make you more fixed in your community. 

One of the leading deceits we’ve been sold is that we require money to relish life. But, there are a lot of simple – and free – pleasures present if we only take the time to appreciate them. Enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. A conversation with an old friend. A bike ride. We don’t require extravagant exercise kits to like a journey to the park. Stamping about in the fall leaves will feel just as good in our old, moth-eaten sneakers.

Chapter 9 – Slow down your life and making it less effective to reach further peace of mind.

Every one of us understands the feeling of standing in a supermarket line, raging with frustration since the person in front of us didn’t remember to weigh their fruit and then can’t find their bank card. Who has that time to wait?

You do have that time really. In our mission to do everything as fast and effectively as possible, we’ve lost vision of the fact that at times we’re hurrying only for the sake of hurrying. 

What if we attempted slowing down and making our lives ineffective occasionally?

When driving home from work, you could attempt driving exactly at the speed limit. Rather than impatiently overtaking other cars, you could try allowing other people to cut in front of you, waiting to allow pedestrians over the zebra crossing. Rather than seeing your commute as a difficult race, you could view it as a time to spend with yourself, giving your thoughts complete freedom, and processing your day.

Slowing your life down will be very easy if you attempt radically slowing down and making your communications simple. Smartphones are meant to make our lives more comfortable and efficient; however, really, do we really have to reply to our emails while sitting on the toilet?

One method to slow down is to change from a smartphone to a “dumb phone,” getting rid of email and social media so that you just take crucial calls and texts. Rather than answering emails as you receive them, attempting setting apart one hour a day for clearing your inbox. 

Restricting your dependence on your phone will make it very easier to single-task. Rather than distractedly attempting to multitask five things at a time and not finished any of them, attempt doing only one thing at a time. 

Also, if you are in a queue at the supermarket, attempt having a small conversation with the cashier rather than quickly replying to a text. Take time to pack your groceries in a manner that it will be easier to keep them. Feel the pleasure of being able to commit your energy and focus only on a thing and then be able to go on to the next work knowing that it is completed. 

Living purposely and focusing on what you do can offer you a lot of time – and more significantly, peace of mind.

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer Book Review

All of us have fallen victim to the hurry disease. We run from appointment to the other appointment, work for long hours, sleep really little, and feel constantly stressed and tired. Due to that, our relationships suffer, and we cease being able to be in existence in our own lives. Rather than checking for the recent meditation app for an answer, we can consult the spiritual teachings of the Bible. Jesus was an expert of mindfulness, way before that turned into a slogan. He understood to take time for Himself, prioritize significant connections and restrict what He consumed. By learning from His day-to-day routines we can learn how to live more peaceful and satisfying lives.

“Parent” your phone by lying it to sleep during the early evening.

Checking through your Facebook feed or answering messages only before you go to sleep occupies your mind with busy feelings and worrying news. See your phone as your children, and “put it to sleep” during the early evening, putting your phone on airplane mode or putting it away in a drawer. You’ll get more time to chill and connect with your family or housemates and you’ll be able to sleep very easily since your mind is calmer.

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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile:

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