How Much Time?

There was a famous experiment done at Princeton Seminary where students were asked to prepare a message on the story of the Good Samaritan and then told to give that talk somewhere across campus.

Some were told to hurry as they were late already. Some were told they had just enough time to get there. And some were told they had plenty of time to get there.

Then, in the middle of the campus, each student would encounter a bystander, who appeared injured and asked for their help.  As you might guess, only 10% of those “in a hurry” stopped to help, 45% of those “on time” stopped to help; and 63% of those “not in a hurry”, stopped to help. 

It was not the student’s upbringing, nor their religion, nor their character that predicted their response. It was simply, their sense of not having enough time. 

When we hurry, when we pack too much in, when we rush from place to place, we simply will not be able to see people and, when appropriate, respond to their needs.

A few years ago, I decided to build an extra 10 minutes “between” scheduled things, so that I could move with more leisure, and would have time in transition to respond to people. It has dramatically changed the quality of my time and my ability to see people and respond.

If you feel like you are constantly rushed, or have trouble being present to people, consider what ways you might use to relieve the time pressure you have built into your day.

Grace & Peace,

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