Alan Fadling opens this book with the words: “I am a recovering speed addict … and I don’t mean the drug.” This spiritual director’s mission is to inspire people to rest deeper, love fuller and lead better.
Living a frenetic life was a sign of success in my pre-retirement world. Even today the successful retired person is busy, even crazy busy. The pandemic has slowed down the pressure, but it’s still there.
Fadling details the rhythms of Jesus’ life … from the huge meetings with seekers, the miracles, the days of discipling the disciples and the nights of prayer alone. Jesus, who could sleep through a storm at sea, led a balanced life.
He applies that insight into our world’s issues, like productivity, suffering and rest. He also provides insightful questions to pray over at the end of each chapter and a list of spiritual practices that can help us to slow down.
Here is a short video of Fadling talking about what he means by an unhurried life and his book “An Unhurried Leader.”
Amazon has “An Unhurried Life” rated at five stars with 99 reviews. Goodreads has it at 4.11 stars with 602 reviews. It won the 2014 Christianity Today Award of Merit.
Other resources useful for a practice of Christian mindfulness are here.
The weather is glorious this weekend in my Midwestern city. It’s a perfect time to plant spring bulbs. Plant mindfully, welcoming God’s presence. We just may learn two lessons that these bulbs provide.
Christian life is all about delayed gratification. The bulbs will be working invisibly for a while. But the end game is beautiful.
You will get signs of hope as a new season begins. The green tops of the bulbs peeking through the dirt … what can be more hopeful than that.
You can plant bulbs no matter where you live. Inside, if necessary. I do hyacinths indoors. The front garden is tulips and daffodils. Just enjoy the beautiful weather.
At least that’s the best guess. Today is traditionally celebrated as the birthday of the Virgin Mary. So guessing that Jesus was born on 4 AD, and Mary was 14 at the time … I got my guess at her age today.
Celebrating mindfully today, I do a reading about Mary’s life and put flowers in front of her statue. I also talk to her.
“Praying” to Mary is controversial to say the least at my church. But I feel strongly that the Lord suggested I do so when I was a young teenager.
My parents didn’t support my deep interest in faith, and my mother forbid my request to go see what a Catholic church was like. That’s when I got the feeling that Mary was going to be a lifelong friend, as she has turned out to be.
On this birthday, I try to think of a good gift for Mary. Being kind to everyone I meet today is that choice. Of course, she’d like this to become a permanent habit. I see her point.
This Christian mindfulness practice came from someone else, but I have no idea who. That person created a list of profound questions for daily reflection or examen. Although I neglected to note the author back then, I’ve found answering these questions bring lots of insight.
Where in this day did I feel the presence of God working in my life and in the world?
What in this day seemed like it was a part of my leading?
What made me believe that?
How does that leading fit into my personal and spiritual life?
What did I do today to feed my spirit or move me ahead on my spiritual journey?
Let’s try using these questions for discernment in quiet time. They are also great for journaling.