A guest post by Tal Prince.
So - how’s your schedule these days? If you’re like most people, the answer ranges somewhere between busy and insane. Even during the heat of the summer, the pace of life pushes the red line.
As leaders, we don't tend to walk through life.
In today’s world, everything shouts “RUN!” Our inbox alerts us to run. Our calendar alarms us to runs. Our cell phones ring out the call to run. Our jobs demand that we run. Our families cry for us to run.
So we run.
And we run...
and we run.
Many times not even knowing where we are going.
In my experience, speed and uncertainty of direction are not good friends - when they get together, things rarely end
Still - we run.
We are panicked, but running with our electronic leashes and
monitoring devices dangling around our feet ringing, alerting, and alarming us if we slow down.
The Cruel Pursuit Of The Hyena
Have you ever watched hyenas hunt?
They are among the cruelest of all predators. What makes them cruel? Pound for pound, they have the most powerful jaws in the animal kingdom, but that’s not it. It’s not their size - they are the size of a German Shepherd.
However, their hearts are twice the size as that of a lion. This gives them the capability of running for long distances. If cheetahs are sprinters, the hyenas are the marathon runners of jungle predators.
Combine their hearts and jaws, and they are capable killing machines, but what makes them cruel is their ability to hunt in packs.
Hyenas travel in clans, and when they spot a herd of animals, they select their target. They then move in and systematically separate their target from the herd. They dart in and out causing their target to spin and turn to stay with the herd.
The target starts to run and then get disoriented as the uncertainty of direction and speed separate them from the protection of the herd. The hyenas begin to laugh.
The hyenas circle and chase their prey while they laugh. They are capable of running great distances at 6 miles per hour, and they never let their prey rest.
They bite at its heels if it slows down. They continue to force their hapless target to switch directions - adding to the desperate confusion and disorientation. They are cut off. Alone. And running. If they slow down, the hyenas move in at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour and nip at their heels.
The hyenas relentlessly pursue their hapless and prey until exhaustion takes over. Their target - separated, exhausted and alone loses hope and gives up. The hyenas then move in and eat their prey alive.
Where Are The Hyenas In Your Life?
I have hyenas chasing me - do you?
They keep me busy.
They keep me running.
They keep me disoriented.
When I slow down, they laugh - their laughter sounds like my iPhone, email, calendar and task list.
Their laughter reminds me that my perfectionism is at stake.
“Look out, Tal - you’re going to blow it! Something is going to slip through the cracks, and it will be all your fault! What are you going to do? RUN, Tal, RUN! Tal, you’re late for a call. Tal, you’re late for a meeting. Tal, you’re late on a deadline. Tal, your emails are backed up! Tal, you’re late picking up your kids from practice! Tal, what are you thinking? RUN!”
Can you identify with that? Are the hyenas of busyness on your trail? Have you been cut off from the herd?
Help From The Hyenas
For me, it’s times like these when God’s Word makes the least sense.
Look at how Eugene Peterson translates Psalm 46:10, “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
How do we take a verse like that when the hyenas of busyness continue to harangue us?
Is it as tough for you as it is for me at times?
I think, though, this is why the late Dallas Willard said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life, for worry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our world today.”
My struggle with perfectionism makes it hard for me to choose to step out of the traffic. It seems so much easier to pursue your opinion of me. Though it never works in the long run, I continue to run instead of rest.
Then because I am too busy to pray and remain active in a life shared with God and others, I become prey.
Do The Next Right Thing
What about you? How will you handle the hyenas of busyness today?
You know they are coming - can you ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life? Can you take the time to step out of the traffic to take a long and loving look at the Most High God?
If you don’t slow down enough to pray, you become prey.
And what I have found is that busyness and resistance towards prayer are symptomatic of a deeper issue that impacts your leadership and every aspect of your life.
That's why Matt and I have developed a new paradigm for leadership called Five Factor Leadership. You can learn more about it by downloading our FREE overview.
Our goal is simple: we want you to thrive.
We want you to make it to the end.
We want you to remain faithful.
We want you to make a difference.
The hyenas are coming for you. And they won't stop until they eat you alive.
Let us help you.
Download the Five Factors overview and reimagine your life and leadership.