You can access a PDF version of this Discussion Guide here.
Foreword, Prologue and Chapter 1
Review, Reflect and Discuss
Feel free to comment and raise any questions that occur to you as you read. Don’t be limited to the questions listed after the summaries, but they might help to prime your thinking.
Foreword – John Ortberg commends the book, defines the essence of hurry as ‘too much to do’, explains why being delivered from it is so important and argues that being delivered from it will mean having ‘the ability to do calmly and effectively – with strength and joy – that which really matters.’
- Do you recognise how much of a problem hurry is? What would life look like if you were not hurried?
Prologue: Autobiography of an epidemic – JMC explains how he came to realise how hurry was robbing him of his main purpose in life which was to be an apprentice of Jesus, learning his way of life. He gives some idea of the radical changes he started to make so he could become the person he wanted to become. He then invites us to join him, especially if we are feeling weary and burdened by life, to discover some of the things that he has learned on this journey.
- Why might hurry stop us from becoming the person we want to become?
Part 1 – The Problem
Chapter 1 –Hurry: the enemy of spiritual life – JMC introduces his two main influences – Ortberg and Willard – and explains where the phrase ‘ruthless elimination of hurry’ came from. He then draws on others, C.S.Lewis among them, to underline how much hurry is toxic to spiritual life. He shows that it is incompatible with the main kingdom value of love, and of a life characterised by walking – not running – with God. Quoting his mentor, John Ortberg, he argues we cannot truly live in the kingdom of God with a hurried soul.
- What does healthy busyness look like and what does unhealthy busyness look like?
- Why are hurry and love incompatible?
- JMC quotes Ortberg’s concern for the danger that we ‘just skim our lives instead of actually living them.’ What do you think it means to ‘skim our lives’?
The next chapters to read, ready for discussion, are Chapter 2: A brief history of speed and Chapter 3: Something is deeply wrong.