Ruthless Elimination


I sat in his office, trying to listen carefully to the conversation that the four of us were having. Just behind Terry, I could see a small sign tacked above his computer monitor. The sign wasn’t intended for guests. It was just the right size to be a reminder for the one individual who spent hours at that desk each day—Terry.

Terry Adams serves as the Director of Discovery and Outreach at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. In 2007, he launched the Valor Discovery program, and since then, Terry has influenced hundreds of students by creating opportunities for them to serve others around the world.

The sign in Terry’s office continues to challenge me. It simply reads:

“Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

Why are we so prone to fill our lives with frantic activity? Western culture often emphasizes productivity over relationships, and productivity is usually accompanied by busyness. Busyness has become a badge of honor for many. As Jeff Shinabarger writes in More Or Less, “There was a time, not so long ago, when the polite answer to the question “How are you?” was, “Fine.” It seems that busy is the new fine.”

Africans are marked by a different pace of life—a beautiful, relational dance with creation, family and friends. Each time I travel there, I am reminded of how “time” means different things in different cultures. I am inspired by people like Terry, and so many of my African friends, to work hard to focus on people more than tasks and on character more than capacity.

What decisions can we make to eliminate hurry from our lives? May God give us the grace each day to focus more on what matters to Him.