An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling

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An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 2013. 199 pages, $15, paperback. ISBN 978-0-8308-3573-7

Book Description (from back cover):

“I am a recovering speed addict.” Pastor and spiritual director Alan Fadling begins with this confession and continues by describing his journey out of the fast lane into the rhythms of Jesus. Here is a book that affirms that we are called to do work. Productivity is not sin – it is the attitudes behind our work that can be our undoing. So how do we find balance between our sense of calling and the call to rest? This book offers a way.

Summary:

In eleven chapters, Fadling draws upon his personal and vocational experiences to present us with a clear rationale for living what he has called “an unhurried life;” that being a lifestyle that is modeled after Jesus’ own relaxed and steady pace of ministry. Drawing upon much of what Jesus did in the Gospels, his own life experiences, and texts from well known spiritual directors and authors, Fadling discusses the following in the hope of providing a clear outline for what an unhurried life might look like: discipleship, productivity, temptation, care for others, prayer, rest, suffering, maturity. He closes the text with chapters on various spiritual practices for unhurrying as well as forming an eternal perspective. Each chapter concludes with a section Fadling calls “Unhurried Time,” which lists a short series of questions for thoughtful reflection, prayer, and discussion.

Evaluation:

Despite the tendency to be redundant at times, the book was a quick and enjoyable read with practical implications for life and ministry work. Fadling’s use of scripture and the wisdom of great spiritual pioneers kept me engaged and supported his argument for an unhurried way of living. The structure of the book was easy to follow and made it simple for me to draw connections with my own often very hurried ways of living, and Fadling thankfully provides practical advice on how to slow down (both within each chapter and in Chapter 10: Spiritual Practices for Unhurrying). While any Christian would find this book both challenging and applicable, it is particularly beneficial for people engaged in active vocational ministry (pastors, church leaders, spiritual mentors, etc.). This book would be great to discuss in a small group (especially if the group is filled with hurryers such as myself), not only because of the chapter breakdown but also because of the wonderful reflection questions at the conclusion of each chapter.

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*This book was provided free from InterVarsity Press with my promise to post an unbiased review. This review was written by K. Meyers.