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Transformation: Unhurriedness, The Cornerstone of Spiritual Life

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



Transformation: Unhurriedness, The Cornerstone of Spiritual Life

Brandon Cook

John Ortberg asked his mentor Dallas Willard what it would take to live the kind of life Dallas was always talking about—a life caught up in the goodness of God, a life lived from the Kingdom of God, an abundant life of prayerful love.  In short, the life of a disciple.

Dallas paused for a moment and said, “John, you must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

John wrote that down and said, “Okay, I got it, what else?”

Long pause.

“That is all.  There is nothing else.”

And that’s Dallas Willard for you.  But…how can that be all there is?  At the risk of trying to speak for Uncle Dallas, perhaps what he meant, in part, is this: All of God’s abundance is there. The grace, the power, the resource of God has already been given. You simply need to become aware of it.  And you become aware—and you become transformed—by slowing down.  You must slow down into the life of God.

Discipleship starts with hearing the whisper of God’s Spirit which whispers “yes” and “draw near.”  The whisper of adoption by which God reveals that, in Him, we're "in,” and He is with and within us.[1]  But there is little hope of staying grounded in this whisper, let alone growing in our hearing of it, if we have no quiet in our souls to receive it.  It is like seed, and if the thorn of our inner life is over-grown with stress and anxiety, the seed will get choked out.  Or, it will find no place to land in the first place. 

Similarly, if we can’t hear the whisper of God, there will be little energizing power from the Spirit of God filling our lives to love others as disciples.  And we will have little resource left for hearing and responding to Jesus’ guiding voice in our lives.  In other words, we can’t live into the three pictures of discipleship if our souls are constantly in a hurry.

Each picture becomes a reality only when we have space to hear the whisper of the Father’s love, the whisper of Jesus inviting us to make present the Kingdom for others, and the whisper of the Holy Spirit, empowering us to listen and respond.  Without The Slow Life, we have a hard time hearing these whispers and thus, experiencing the transforming goodness of God.  The Slow Life is, quite simply, the cornerstone of spiritual life and the foundation for all other spiritual practices. 

[1] See, for example, Galatians 2:20