Tuesday, January 09, 2007

An Unhurried Life: Part 1

[I am beginning to journal the study questions from Chapter 5 ("An Unhurried Life: The Practice of 'Slowing'") of John Ortberg's The Life You've Always Wanted. For some "look ahead" at the book, I have posted the chapter titles at the index link at the bottom.]

Someone said they appreciated my questions. They are not mine. They are the study questions in the back of the book, written by Kevin G. Harney.

Small Group Discussion Questions

  1. If you were to take this exhortation with all seriousness, "to be spiritually healthy, you must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life," what is one thing you would need to change in your life so you could slow down?

  2. The author writes, "Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. Hurry can destroy our souls. Hurry can keep us from living well." How have you experienced the destructive power of hurry in your life?

    • How can busyness cause us to settle for mediocrity in our faith rather than a deep experience of God's presence and power?
    • How have you experienced this reality in your life during times of intense busyness?

  3. Read:
    Mark 1:32 When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city had gathered at the door. 34 And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37 they found Him, and said to Him, "Everyone is looking for You." 38 He said to them, "Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for." 39 And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.

    Luke 5:15 But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
    From these two passages and other stories in the Gospels, what are some examples of how Jesus modeled an unhurried life?

  4. Take a few moments and have your small-group members take this brief survey. Circle yes or no for each question:
    • Do you live with a daily sense that there is not enough time to get done with everything you need to accomplish? YES NO
    • Do you find yourself talking faster because there is so much to say? YES NO
    • Do you nod a lot when a person is talking slowly in an effort to keep them moving along? YES NO
    • When people are talking too slowly, do you ever find yourself wanting to (or actually) finishing their sentences? YES NO
    • Do you ever drive faster than is safe (even sometimes when you are not in a hurry) ? YES NO
    • When you stop at a red light with two or more lanes with cars in them, do you ever try to anticipate which car looks faster so you can get behind that car and save a few seconds when the light turns green? YES NO
    • Do you ever try to gauge which line at the grocery store will be the quickest and get in that line? And, if it turns out you picked the slower line, does it bother you? YES NO
    • Do you multiple-task and try to get more than one thing done at a time on a regular basis? YES NO
    • Do you have a big pile of magazines, newspapers, and books that you hope to read "some day"? YES NO
    • Do you live your life driven by schedules, organizers, and to-do lists? YES NO
    • Do you find it difficult to say no when others ask you to do things that will add one more item to your schedule? YES NO
    Share how many times you circled yes to the questions above, and tell your group what you think this reveals about the place of hurry in your life.

  5. The author says, "Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible." How is hurry the enemy of love in one of these relationships?
    • Your relationship with God
    • Your relationship with your family members
    • Your relationship with other followers of Christ
    • Your relationship with those who don't yet know Jesus

    • What are some of the values and attitudes in our society that drive us to a hurried lifestyle?
    • What are some biblical truths we can hold on to that will counteract these values and attitudes?
Next in series: "An Unhurried Life" Pt. 2
Index to Series

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly