Coaching and Time: moving too fast

February 27, 2023
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by Shannon Caughey

It can seem like there is never enough time to get everything done. You have coaching responsibilities and commitments. You have work obligations and deadlines. You want and need to give significant attention to your family. The end result is a day-by-day schedule that is always full. And a full schedule can make it feel like you’re constantly running a “hurry-up offense” in life.

But living in a perpetual state of hurry has negative consequences. When we’re going too fast because time seems scarce, it is difficult to cultivate a vibrant relationship with Christ. Dallas Willard, one of the foremost thinkers over the last few decades on how we grow spiritually, said this: “Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

Why is perpetually being in a hurry so detrimental? In his book Soul Keeping, John Ortberg articulates the core reason: “Being hurried is an inner condition, a condition of the soul. It means to be so preoccupied with myself and my life that I am unable to be fully present with God, with myself, and with other people… I cannot rest in God with a hurried soul.”

When we’re moving too fast, we miss God and his activity in our life and in the lives of those around us. When we’re in a hurry, we’re usually distracted rather being fully engaged with whoever we’re currently with and in whatever we’re currently doing. When we’re distracted, we cannot be the best coach or the best spouse or the best parent that we can be. It is difficult to lead well, to listen well, to learn well, and to love well if our mindset is, “I don’t have enough time.”

With the reality of all the responsibilities that are part of coaching and life, how do we “ruthlessly eliminate hurry”? Start by embracing the truth of the opening verses of one of the best-known passages of Scripture: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3a).  

To eliminate hurry, we must trust that God is our loving and good shepherd. We must be confident in his care for us. We must recognize that the world is not going to fall apart if I’m not at the wheel, scrambling to keep things going. God is sovereign and I can rest in him. We must look to the Lord as our shepherd daily, making space in our schedule to spend time with him and grow in our relationship with him. We must allow God to guide us in what we do and what we don’t do because he wants us to experience “green pastures” and “quiet waters.”

You can live a full coaching life without feeling like you’re constantly in a hurry. As Ortberg says, “Jesus was often busy, but never hurried.” Coach, do you trust the Lord as your shepherd? Is it your desire to grow and thrive in your relationship with Jesus Christ? If so, you can depend upon him to lead and empower you to live a full life that is not a hurried life.  

Are you moving too fast? Ask God for his help to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. Trust his sovereignty over every responsibility, commitment, and deadline. You can experience the green pastures and quiet waters the Lord has for you.

For reflection: If you feel like you’re perpetually in a hurry, ask the Lord to help you more fully trust him and his sovereignty over all. Take a few moments to meditate on the truth of Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”



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