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An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest Paperback – May 22, 2013
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"Can we gain inner peace and strength in our high-pressured, fast-paced lives? With insights and stories, Fadling, a spiritual director, demonstrates what it takes to experience empowered lives despite life's inevitable crises and urgent demands." (Harold Myra, "The 2014 Christianity Today Book Awards," Christianity Today, January/February 2014)
"Filled with underlineable sentences, penetrating questions, and appropriately disruptive insights, this book positions itself well for personal, staff, small group, or community discussion." (Zack Eswine, Themelios, 38.3)
"This easy-to-read study on 'worship through rest' is excellent for mature Christians, especially for those involved in ministry. Written through the experiences of a pastor, it gives advice for counseling oneself, as well as others, to find a place in the slow lane and find God in silence and comfort." (Church Libraries, Fall 2013)
"[Fadling's] approach is practical, eclectic, self-revealing, and rich in biblical allusions and applications. . . . the book integrates diverse resources in ways that may be useful to those seeking a manual for changing course." (Publishers Weekly, May 13, 2013)
"Alan Fadling has written a magnificent book that is timely and enduring. It may even become a spiritual classic. . . . In reading his profound, accessible and challenging words, I became deeply aware of God's gentle invitation to a fuller, less hurried life in the imitation of Christ. As you pick up this book, I urge you to slow, read, savor and be changed in companionship with your unhurried Savior." (L. Paul Jensen, executive director of The Leadership Institute)
"Greatness of soul requires an unhurried life. In this book, a fellow struggler shows us how Jesus lived a relaxed life that opens us up to truly loving and knowing others. This book is a perfect follow-up to Eugene Peterson's classic work The Contemplative Pastor." (Jan Johnson, author of Abundant Simplicity)
"An Unhurried Life unearths our idol of efficiency and the incessant struggle to catch up, keep up and stay up with the velocity of our high-energy world. Fadling invites us into a countercultural way of being present to God and one another. (Stephen A. Macchia, author of Crafting a Rule of Life)
"Every once in a while there is a book that I can honestly say, 'That book changed my life!' An Unhurried Life has been added to my very short list. Alan Fadling has helped me see in a practical, convicting and motivating manner that there is a depth waiting for me when I slow down and walk with Jesus. I knew it all along . . . but Alan has helped me long for it. In an overcommitted and underconnected culture, people need this message. I did!" (Doug Fields, coauthor of Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry and executive director of Homeword Center for Youth/Family)
About the Author
Alan Fadling (MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary) is president and founder of Unhurried Living, Inc. in Mission Viejo, California, inspiring people to rest deeper, live fuller, and lead better. He speaks and consults internationally with organizations such as Saddleback Church, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Cru, Halftime Institute, Apprentice Institute, and Open Doors International. He is the award-winning author of An Unhurried Life, honored with a Christianity Today Award of Merit in spirituality, and he is also a contributing author to Eternal Living: Reflections on Dallas Willards Teaching on Faith and Formation. Fadling is a certified spiritual director, and he lives in Mission Viejo, California, with his wife Gem and their three sons.
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For various reasons, modern Western culture believes that doing more things and always being “on” is inherently better. In other words, we believe that productivity is the greatest good. But is it? If we notice Jesus’ life in the Gospels, even though he worked hard and got tired, he wasn’t hurried. He wasn’t frantic or on the verge of burnout. Everything he did was done with intentionality and thoughtfulness. He was focused on doing what His Father wanted Him to do, but he wasn’t in a constant state of crisis management despite the fact that there were unending demands on his time. He took extended times away to pray and to be with God. Maybe when we try to do more, we fail to take the time to figure out whether the things we are so hurriedly doing are the things that God would have us do. God has not given us more good to do in a given day than we can actually accomplish in a given day.
This book challenged me to be sure to make regular time to just read, pray, and reflect, and to not let the demands of all the good things I could do (or that people ask me to do) divert me from thoughtfully deciding what is most important to do. Many of our modern activities (like watching TV and endlessly scrolling social media) are life-sucking, not life-giving (though they do have some place in our lives in moderation). In contrast, taking time to rest, enjoy friends and family, and get enough sleep are valid parts of a good, God-honoring life. I was also reminded that if I feel like everything is happening at once and I feel overwhelmed, then I need to step back, pray, and think quietly to get things in perspective. If email, phone call, or other work have to wait, then they have to wait. I’ve read other books on the perils of constant connectedness and pitfalls of social media, internet, etc. but this book does a better job of guiding readers on a practical way forward because it goes back to the way Jesus did life, work, and rest.
While I would have appreciated more scripture work and exploration in regards to this subject, I did learn some things that I need/want to put into practice in my own spiritual disciplines. He speaks of taking time away once a month to spend time with God--a hide and pray kind of day. I am familiar with this concept, but it has been months and months since I've made time for it in my own life. I intend to schedule it hopefully one afternoon a month; though it will need to be on a Saturday because of work.
I also intend to schedule a time to take a break from social media. I find Facebook and Twitter to not only be distracting, but depressing as well. I think a fast from both for a period of time to seek out God would be beneficial. This is also one of the reasons why I have returned back to reading paper books instead of using a Kindle or IPad. I work with computer screens all day long at my job; it is refreshing to read from a book that I hold in my hand and that isn't a computer device. With a real book, I slow down, and am more apt to "mark it up" as opposed to an ebook.
Fadling did encourage me in his writing to be more aware of the eternal instead of the here and now. We are living the eternal right now, and I definitely lose sight of that ability to think on two different plains.
This book starts with the exploration of the gospels to see how Jesus attitude and behavior was in interacting with people and the Father.
"I believe that modeling our life according to the unhurried pace of Jesus' life and ministry could be a healing and empowering vision for contemporary Christians (apprentices of Jesus). (p.10)
I marked so many portions of this book. And, I wanted to read it quickly, but, I decided to slow down and savor it. It is very rich.
I would highly recommend it to any person interested in what our life can look like if we imitate the rhythm of Jesus' life.
I think a team reading this together could prove transformative.
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