5 Key Takeaways From The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry Summary

Last Updated: October 28, 2023 | by Paul Harstrom

Dallas Willard once called hurry the great enemy of spiritual life in our day and said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” 

In the rush to keep up with the demands of contemporary society, individuals often sacrifice essential aspects of their lives, such as meaningful relationships, self-reflection, and connection with a higher purpose. This is precisely what the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry summary emphasizes, highlighting the need to slow down and prioritize what truly matters.

Hurry is seen as a barrier to spiritual growth, preventing individuals from engaging in intentional and contemplative practices essential for nurturing a deep, meaningful connection with oneself, others, and the divine. 

John Mark Comer, the author of “Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry,” suggests that hurry contributes to various societal issues, including outrage culture, anxiety, digital distraction, family breakdown, loneliness, and burnout. 

Ruthless Elimination of Hurry Book

In essence, the book’s central idea is that by eliminating hurry and embracing a slower, more deliberate pace, we can reclaim a sense of purpose, connection, and spiritual vitality in our lives. Here is the list of 5 key takeaways from the book.

Hurry Is The Devil:

Carl Jung, a famous psychologist, once said 

“Hurry isn’t of the Devil; it is the Devil.” 

When we hear “the devil,” we might think of something like a demon with a pitchfork, but John Mark Comer suggests that in our lives, it could be things like constantly checking our phones, being on Instagram, working long hours, or dealing with a fast-paced life.

There is a quote from Corrie ten Boom, a woman who saved people during the Holocaust that says if the devil can’t make you do something wrong, he’ll make you busy. This idea is fascinating because, in a way, being too busy has a similar effect on your inner self as doing something wrong.

The author has also been studying the Eastern Orthodox tradition, a different way of approaching spirituality. In this tradition, the spiritual journey is seen as a process of healing the soul and reconnecting with God. 

Comer believes that this emphasis on healing and connecting with God has been lost or overlooked in the Western Church due to the constant rush.

Hurry Sickness

Is Hurry Holding You Back? Beware, It’s Hurry Sickness:

John Mark Comer talks about something called “hurry sickness,” which psychologists now diagnose. It’s when people constantly feel like they don’t have enough time, so they rush through tasks and get flustered when things don’t go quickly. 

According to psychologists Rosemary Sword and Philip Zimbardo, there are three signs of hurry sickness: 

  • Constantly switching to shorter checkout lines
  • Counting cars at stoplights and changing lanes
  • Multitasking so much that you forget one of the tasks

John Mark Comer suggests that most people probably have some level of hurry sickness, affecting both individuals and society.

John Mark Comer: The ruthless elimination of hurry summary

People from various backgrounds, whether college students, parents, professionals, or retirees, all describe themselves as busy.

However, there are different kinds of busyness. Some people are busy because they have a lot to do, and they’re engaged in meaningful activities. In this sense, being busy isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The concern is not with having a lot to do or being engaged in meaningful activities; instead, it’s about the mindset of constantly feeling rushed and pressured by time.

When people are constantly in a hurry, it may impact their ability to be present, focused, and connected to themselves and others.

So, being busy with purposeful and meaningful activities can be fulfilling and joyous. However, the caution here is about the unhealthy busyness that stems from a perpetual sense of urgency and time pressure.

How Does Pathological Busyness Impact Our Spiritual Lives?

In His Book “The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry,” John Mark Comer talks about two types of busyness. The first one is regular busyness we all experience, but there’s a more dangerous type called “pathological busyness.” It is like a sickness in our souls and society.

Bill Gates even said, “Busy is the new stupid,” referring to this busyness.

Pathological busyness means you have too much to do and not enough time. To cope, you speed up your mind, body, and relationships to fit everything in. 

John Mark Comer argues that living at this crazy pace is incompatible with a fulfilling life and the teachings of God’s kingdom. It affects both our emotional health and spiritual life.

A professor, Michaels Igor, surveyed 20,000 Christians and found that busyness is a significant block to their relationship with God. It can lead to God becoming less critical in their lives, and this, in turn, makes them more vulnerable to secular ways of living. Pastors, doctors, lawyers – they’re all caught up in busyness. 

Although there’s no magical solution to never being busy again. However, we can slow down our pace while checking Ruth Haley Barton’s signs for Hurry Sickness, including:

  • Irritability
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Restlessness
  • Compulsive overworking
  • Emotional numbness
  • Out-of-order priorities
  • Lack of care for your body
  • Escapist behaviors
  • Feeling disconnected from your identity
  • Neglecting spiritual practices

The point is that there is more at stake than just feeling stressed. Our spiritual lives are on the line. 

Distractions like Netflix, social media, and busyness are making it hard for us to connect with God and have depth in our lives. So, John Mark Comer urges us to be aware of this pathological busyness impacting our emotional and spiritual well-being.

Acquire a harmonious balance between your spiritual and work life with LEAD Diligently’s advisory coaching. It supports struggling business executives through a mission rooted in Biblical principles, offering fresh perspectives, objective analysis, and encouraging support. 

Illuminating Speed Through The Lens Of Slowness:

To truly grasp the essence of speed, we must acquaint ourselves with slowness. Various natural phenomena, such as the movement of the sun and moon, the passage of days and nights, and the gradual growth of human beings, are inherently slow. 

If we adopt a patient and observant stance, we’ll notice that these phenomena can seem stationary or almost motionless. Take, for instance, the moon; if we sit quietly and gaze at it, it may appear inactive initially. Yet, with time, we realize it has subtly shifted its position in the sky.

In the "ruthless elimination of hurry" summary, one finds profound quotes; the PDF version circulates widely, while the study guide offers deep insights.

On a scientific level, these phenomena unfold rapidly, even at the molecular level. The paradox lies in being slow, metaphorically allowing us to dive deeper into the atomic level

This deliberate, unhurried movement paradoxically gives rise to a powerful motion—a motion that can be likened to the apparent speed of celestial bodies like the moon or Earth in space. Despite their rapid scientific movements, these divine entities, when observed casually, seem to be in a perpetual state of stillness.

The illusion of speed becomes a veil obscuring crucial observations and reflections in our surroundings. It causes us to overlook the intricate details that unveil the reflection of divinity and our true selves. 

This illusionary speed, driven by the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, closes our eyes to the profound beauty and wisdom embedded in the unhurried dance of the cosmos.

In our quest for rapid progress and immediate gratification, we often neglect the intricate tapestry of life unfolding around us. By adopting slowness, we open ourselves to a more profound understanding of the world, gaining access to the subtleties that escape the hurried eye. 

This deliberate pace is not merely a leisurely approach to life; instead, it is a mindful engagement with the profound intricacies of existence.

Ruthless Elimination of Hurry Summary – John Mark Comer

The unhurried observation of natural phenomena becomes a spiritual practice, allowing us to tap into the deeper rhythms of creation. It’s a conscious choice to peel back the layers of illusion, to see beyond the surface and witness the divine choreography at play. 

Through slowness, we align ourselves with the unhurried grace of the universe, fostering a connection to the sacred that is easily overlooked in the frenzy of a fast-paced existence.

Thus, the art of being slow is not a passive withdrawal from the world but an active engagement with the richness of life. 

It is a deliberate choice to break free from the illusion of speed, savor the nuances, and unveil the profound reflections of God and our true selves woven into the fabric of the seemingly slow but intricately beautiful dance of existence. For those looking to delve deeper into this concept, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry Study Guide” offers insightful perspectives and practical steps.

Rule Of Life:

There is an ancient concept called a “Rule Of Life.” Imagine it as a support structure like a trellis under a vineyard. In the same way, a vine needs support to bear fruit, and our lives require a structure for prayer and spiritual growth. 

Rule of life is like a schedule and set of practices that allow us to slow down, receive and give love, and live in alignment with our deepest desires. These practices include:

  • Prayer
  • Study of God’s Word – The Holy Bible
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Relationship Commitments
  • Family Involvement
  • Rest and Sabbath
  • Healthy eating
  • Learning and Growth
  • Silence and Solitude
  • Community Engagement
  • Living with purpose

The idea is not just about doing more but about intentionally choosing a way of life that allows for a deeper connection with oneself and others and a sense of purpose.

LEAD Diligently’s commitment to holistic advisory, creative problem-solving, and empowering leaders to pursue their God-given purpose shares common ground with the concept of intentional and purposeful living.

Wrapping Up the Key Takeaways of The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry:

The central concept highlighted in these “5 Key Takeaways of The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry Summary” revolves around the detrimental impact of constant busyness and hurry on spiritual well-being and overall life satisfaction. So, we need to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives, considering it a significant threat akin to the devil. 

In a world marked by technological distractions, societal pressures, and a relentless pace, individuals often neglect their emotional health, relational maturity, and spiritual growth. The remedy proposed is adopting a personalized “rule of life.” 

“Rule of life” is a structured framework that includes intentional practices, schedules, and relational rhythms to counter the overwhelming pace of modern life. 

By choosing an unhurried life, you can experience a profound sense of freedom, peace, joy, and love, enriching your life and the lives of those around you.

If you find this blog helpful and want to learn more, click here to read the full summary of “The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry.”

How LEAD Diligently Can Help You

Lead Diligently offers expert-led leadership development programs to help you build business executive skills & advance profitable enterprises.

We are on a mission to help our clients gain the clarity they need to wholly pursue their God-given purpose and grow profitable enterprises.


What does the speaker mean by “ruthless elimination of hurry”?

Ruthless Elimination of Hurry Book

“Ruthless elimination of hurry” is a call to intentionally and decisively remove the constant rush and busyness from our lives.

It’s a recognition that in the modern world, with its distractions and fast pace, a deliberate effort is needed to prioritize what truly matters for a more fulfilling life.

How can one practically implement the concept of a “rule of life” in their daily routine?

To practice the rule of life, begin by creating a personalized schedule that includes intentional practices such as prayer, reflection, and meaningful relationships. Identify specific rhythms that align with your values and spiritual beliefs.

How does the concept of hurry connect with spiritual growth?

Constant hurry hinders spiritual growth by disconnecting individuals from deeper aspects of life. It is a barrier to meaningful relationships, self-reflection, and a connection with a higher purpose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *