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Transformation: Unhurriedness and Changing the Way We Think, Part 2

Transformation Blog: Readings from Learning to Live and Love Like Jesus



Transformation: Unhurriedness and Changing the Way We Think, Part 2

Brandon Cook

We learn to think in Both-Ands so that we can hold tension and, thus, be held by God, who holds all tension.  But we can further expand our capacity for living in tension by asking "God, how can you be so good?" By asking this question, we train ourselves to live in awe, wonder, and curiosity, which opens our heart, rather than judgment and self-hatred, which shuts it down. This question another way to live into Both-Ands. “God, how can You be so good, to receive me when I am unsorted/still struggling/not where I think I should be?"

Self-judgment and self-hatred, after all, takes many people out. They get subsumed in Either-Or thinking: I'm not where I should be or who I think I should be, therefore I judge and hate myself. It's black and white thinking of the worst kind, and it's a thousand miles removed from awe and wonder, which is the only humble posture in which we can thrive spiritually. Yes, shaking our heads in wonder at the mercy of God is a sign of maturity as we learn to accept not only our weakness but also our limitations, namely our inability to have everything figured out, and even our own selves out.  The only way to undermine our weakness is not to root it out of ourselves--not to hate it and judge it to death, which would make us the powerful ones, but to have it subsumed in the love of God, who accepts while we are still unsorted.[1]  This is how we are humbled and how we experience the grace and mercy of God who is not put off by our weakness.   

Thus, when we encounter things we judge about ourselves, we must learn to say wow.  "Wow, how can you be so good, God, that you are near to me and have brought me near, when I am still unsorted?" It's this nearness which actually transforms us, and the only way to step into it is to stop resisting our weakness! Asking "How can you be so good?" interrupts our brain's self-judgment and puts us into a posture of open handed-worship, which is also the posture in which we receive from God.  By asking it, we can live into a full and vibrant life of awe and wonder, from which miracles naturally follow. They always follow when we are open to God.

Again, it’s only through the practices of The Slow Life and unhurriedness, including a calendar that leaves literal space and margin for contemplation, that we can see, hear, and be transformed by the God of Love.  A calendar in which we have time to ask the question, "How can you be so good?" Without a commitment to The Slow Life and to unhurriedness, we will likely keep running at a breakneck pace as dictated to us by our culture.  If we are not intentional in establishing practices in The Slow Life, we will, by default, find ourselves in currents which, with their endless focus on productivity and success, bear little space for fruitfulness.  But in unhurriedness, God can make us aware of what life is really about, and we can live in the awe and wonder that transforms us. 

[1] Again, as Paul makes clear, this has nothing to do with “continuing to sin so that grace may abound” (Romans 6:1), but rather with, having done all we can by our own will-power, to finally accept a Higher Power.