The 2014 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit Winner (Spirituality)
"I am a recovering speed addict."
Beginning with this confession, pastor and spiritual director Alan Fadling goes on to describe his journey out of the fast lane and into the rhythms of Jesus.
Following the framework of Jesus' earthly life, Fadling shows how the work of "unhurrying" ourselves is central to our spiritual development in such pivotal areas as resisting temptation, caring for others, praying and making disciples.
Here is a book that affirms that we are called to work and to do work. Productivity is not a 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?
Spiritual leadership in a harried culture is about learning to be grateful for the “gifts of following an unhurried Savior,” writes Fadling, who describes himself as being on a “journey of recovery” from a life of busyness. A staff member of California’s Leadership Institute, an organization committed to developing and mentoring Christian leadership, the author’s work is the fruit of many years of reflection. His approach is practical, eclectic, self-revealing, and rich in biblical allusions and applications. Like many other evangelical Christian authors who have ventured into the field of spiritual direction, he does not hesitate to draw deeply on the work of such Catholic writers as Henri Nouwen and to draw upon centuries-old disciplines such as Sabbath rest and extended periods of quiet to enrich spiritual life. Though his approach in these meditations on topics such as productivity and Christian maturity is partly intended to diagnose the problems associated with being a Christian leader in a culture of busyness, he is also creative in offering a cure. The book is aimed at leaders and those who simply aspire to the “unhurried life”; readers are encouraged to think about the questions at the end of each chapter. While little of Fadling’s recommendations are revolutionary, the book integrates diverse resources in ways that may be useful to those seeking a manual for changing course. (June)
Stephen A. Macchia
"An Unhurried Life unearths our idol of efficiency and the incessant struggle to catch up, keep up and stay up with the velocity of our high-energy world. Fadling invites us into a countercultural way of being present to God and one another.
"Every once in a while there is a book that I can honestly say, 'That book changed my life!' An Unhurried Life has been added to my very short list. Alan Fadling has helped me see in a practical, convicting and motivating manner that there is a depth waiting for me when I slow down and walk with Jesus. I knew it all along . . . but Alan has helped me long for it. In an overcommitted and underconnected culture, people need this message. I did!"
L. Paul Jensen
"Alan Fadling has written a magnificent book that is timely and enduring. It may even become a spiritual classic. . . . In reading his profound, accessible and challenging words, I became deeply aware of God's gentle invitation to a fuller, less hurried life in the imitation of Christ. As you pick up this book, I urge you to slow, read, savor and be changed in companionship with your unhurried Savior."
"Greatness of soul requires an unhurried life. In this book, a fellow struggler shows us how Jesus lived a relaxed life that opens us up to truly loving and knowing others. This book is a perfect follow-up to Eugene Peterson's classic work The Contemplative Pastor."