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  • Avery Garn

White Space

"What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

At my college bookstore, there was a line of products always on display front and center. They read I AM VERY BUSY.

This marketing always irked me. When did busy-ness become something we wanted to brag about, to display for all to see? But many of us, including me, find at least some of our value in being busy. It makes us feel important, necessary.

But in this season of recovery, I am decidedly not busy. I have more time than I’ve ever had. And as much as someone else bragging about his or her busy-ness bugs me, I still found a lot of my worth and satisfaction in filling my calendar with events, deadlines, to-do’s.

Lots of margin. Emily Ley would be proud.

In his book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer explains that we are taught a lot about the life of Jesus, but not a lot about the way of Jesus. But if Jesus is "the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), shouldn't we pay attention not only to his life, but to his way?

Side note: John Mark Comer also points out that when Jesus learned that Lazarus the one whom he loved was ill, Jesus stayed two days longer in the place where he was (John 11:6). Talk about not in a hurry.

So, I try to lean into the way of Jesus: a way not of hurry, not of busy, but of slow. Into a worth not found in crowded calendar pages, but in a Savior.


This year, slowness has looked like reading and waiting for Clint to finish a Disc Golf game.

It has looked like watching the sun set, and driving slowly to get there.

And most of all, it has looked like having more time with the people I love than ever before.

In the slowness, there is so much peace, so much gratitude, so much time to stop and recognize and name the gifts--the gifts of reading, of sunsets, of friendship.

I know that this season of slowness is temporary, and chasing slow is still a chase. But I try and surrender to the margin and receive it for what it is: a gift. A temporary, sweet gift.

And when my season of life is no longer one of slow, I hope to continue to pursue the way of Jesus, a way of slow. A way with plenty of white space on calendar pages.



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