When You Hate the Hustle

I hate hustle.

I have no problem coming right out and saying that. Nothing about it appeals to me, and it makes me cringe every time I see articles or tweets or posts about hustling. To me, the hustle is synonymous with stress, worry, hurry, and anxiety. It feels heavy, burdensome, laced with feelings of inadequacy and laden with pressure. To me, it looks like people who are constantly going nonstop, who are trying to juggle too many balls in the air, who are trying to keep all the plates spinning.

 

Nothing appeals to me about the hustle.

I can understand where it comes from, this obsession we have with hustling hard. We value our work and our ideas. We prioritize our goals. We are ambitious and driven and dedicated people. Those are all great things, I won’t argue that.

But hustle? That word? That trend? That driving force? Not a fan. The simple dictionary definitions of hustle are enough to make me hate it.

The verb is defined like this:

  1. force (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction.

  2. obtain by forceful action or persuasion

The noun isn’t much better:

  1. busy movement and activity.

  2. a fraud or swindle.

Why are we glamorizing the hustle? Why have we romanticized this endless, forceful hurry and activity? We are we all about the hustle?

Why don’t we instead praise balance? Why don’t we appreciate rest and boundaries? Yes, let’s applaud hard work and determination and drive, but not when it blurs lines into fraud or forcefulness or a frenzy.

I hate the hustle because I believe the Lord calls us to a better, fuller, freer way of life. I believe He has designed us to work hard and also to rest. I believe He has called us to a way of life not like the ways of the world. The very beginning passages of Scripture illustrate this perfectly: we work and create and make, but then we rest. We take a Sabbath. We should have boundaries, just like God did. We should rest, just like our Creator did. We should get away from the crowds and the work and the demands of life and be still, be silent, be with our Maker, just like Jesus did.

Jesus didn’t hustle. Jesus showed us life isn’t about that. Every time I read through the New Testament and look at His life, I can’t help but notice all the times that Jesus went off by himself to be with His father. He could have kept hustling, could have kept healing and teaching and working to spread the Gospel, but even Jesus knew that wasn’t a way to live. He needed the rest, the stillness, the peace, the Sabbath.

Why do we think we are better than that? Why do we think we are above the example Jesus set?

I challenge you to step out of the hustle. Slow down. Stop hurrying and worrying and working so hard, and change your patterns. Create boundaries. Create room for rest, true rest. Create space for stillness and silence and worship and prayer. Create a lifestyle that is balanced and beautiful and life-giving, not life-draining.

 

Look to the One who made us and see that He is calling us to an abundant life, a free life, a life not like the ones in the world around us. We won’t find healing in the hustle-- we’ll only find it in Him.