An All Fire Hurry…

I have often heard it asked, “Why are you in such an all fire hurry?” Some speculate that the origin of that term, “an all fire hurry,” is the rush we may be in if something is on fire and we are either racing to get away from it or to come to the rescue. Either way, I think it is understood that “an all fire hurry,” is probably something we should only be in if there really is a fire or an emergency. While fires and emergencies do happen, they are less common than is the tendency we often have to hurry through things, to hurry through life, and miss opportunities.

Throughout the lives of my children I have tried to teach them that life is not a race. My desire is to keep my children on a path doing good things, but to not be so anxious to get it done that they fail to enjoy the process, or get too far down a path that it is hard to make a correction. Rushing through an assignment can get you a poor grade. Rushing down the road can get you a ticket. Rushing through a recipe usually results in bad tasting food, certainly is not enjoyable in the process of its creation, and there is really nothing you can do to repair food when you have accidentally tripled an otherwise valued ingredient such as salt.

There are goalposts that we should set in life to accomplish things in a timely manner. I would never tell my five minor daughters that there is no need to graduate from high school on the year scheduled. On the other hand, I encourage all my adult children and their spouses to seek higher education, but to do it at a pace that works for them. I would hate to see them so encumber themselves with any positive endeavor that they lose the other balancing joys that make life such a wondrous journey. If it takes ten years to graduate from whatever, who cares? as long as you learn, enjoy the process, and don’t give up the rest of your life in the meantime.

Jesus Teaching the Elders in the Temple, by Grant Romney Clawson

Aside from the miraculous and momentous events surrounding the Savior’s birth, and the record of His visit to the temple in Jerusalem when He was a youth, we know very little about His growing up. We do know this from Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Jesus Christ was a man in balance. He became educated and grew physically strong. He became a man who was familiar with and followed God, and He also had a social life and was a friend to others.

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

Luke 2:52

The man Jesus is often confused for someone that spent His whole life only involved in religious pursuits. Yes, He, the Redeemer of the World, served a three-year mission at the end of life, whose life served and saved us all, and yes, this defines Him. Nevertheless, like us all, He learned through the process of living, and I do not think He was in “an all fire hurry.” He could not have so intimately impacted the lives of so many, had He rushed. It was simply not His way, and should not be ours.

I am impressed by the Lord’s words to missionaries who were attempting to travel so quickly to their areas of service that they may miss opportunities along the way. “I say unto you, that it is not needful for this whole company of mine elders to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief” (Doctrine and Covenants 61:3).

Let us not be in such “an all fire hurry” that we miss the beautiful opportunities that lie on each side of the paths upon which we walk. It is good that we should stop and smell the blossoms and enjoy their lovely scent, seeing the wonder of their creation, and then continue forward doing those things in which we shall find accomplishment and peace. May we do as the Savior has admonished, and not move too swiftly, that we may take the needed time to serve others and experience true fulfillment in life’s journeys. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Daniel Malcolm is an entrepreneur, journalist, photographer, husband to Monica and father of twelve. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.