What does the pace of your life have to do with love?
Today, on the Deeply Loved Facebook page, I got this question from long-time reader Kimberlee: “I was wondering how underlying tension in close relationships is a sign of a hurried life? I thought that was an interesting observation & I don’t see the connection.”
She’s referring to my quotes from An Ordinary Day with Jesus by John Ortberg and Ruth Barton in Day 3 of Deeply Loved. The questions are meant to help those who don’t realize they’re hurried to recognize it. If you do have that tension in relationships, it might be a sign of a hurried life. Hurry has become so normal that we don’t realize how much it is damaging us, spiritually and relationally.
So, what is the connection between hurry and relational tension?
Imagine that you are the mother of small children, and you are trying to get them out the door to an appointment. You’re late, and they’re being, well, small children. Are you more tense and stressed in that moment than you would be if, say, you had plenty of time to get to the appointment? Or if you were just getting them out the door for a walk to the park, with no particular timetable?
In other words, are you more loving toward your kids when you’re in a hurry? Probably not. Because I believe you can’t love in a hurry. It takes time. And if you are constantly in a hurry, and too busy, those you love may feel neglected, resentful, hurt. That causes tension.
Or imagine a spouse who is always working, or volunteering, or taking care of other people. Their spouse might say, “you never have time for me!” And that can cause tension. Or imagine having coffee with a friend who is constantly checking their phone, or looking at their watch–they’re not really present with you. It will likely annoy you. Because they are too hurried, it causes tension.
If we constant live at a frantic pace, we don’t have time to stop and listen. We are impatient with the people we’re close to. We make promises we can’t keep because we’re over-scheduled. Sure, we all have times when that happens, but if it’s consistent, it’s going to damage those relationships.
A hurried life is not just busy–it has to do with inner anxiety and worry that keeps us focused on the things we’ve got to do, or what we didn’t get done. It prevents us from living in the present moment–and therefore, from being fully present with those we love.
What do you think? Does a hurried life cause tension in close relationships?