I have allowed myself to get pretty busy these past two months and slightly overwhelmed, always moving on to the next thing. With finals at school, birthdays, helping to plan a retirement party for a wonderful French professor (such a blessing), receiving two scholarships at the city college I study at (praise God, Hallelujah!), the normal work and studies and precious family time. We often fill every waking hour with plans and to-dos.
I have come to the realization that being too busy can be bad. I am already one to struggle with time management, organization, staying focused, and prioritizing. People have different “busy” thresholds, and I’ve learned recently that mine is low. Compared to many people, I have a ton of free time, time for R&R, I get plenty of sleep, I have nothing to complain about. But I’ve learned that putting too much on my plate is not good. I know I’ve been in places in my life where I’ve let myself become so busy that when I finally did stop to take a breather, I felt guilty for not being on the go. It felt unnatural, like the momentum from the hectic times before was pushing me to keep going and keep my mind racing. It’s just not healthy for my mental state to be constantly moving and rushing; I need to have a quiet, alone space to just BE still. There is a reason the Lord instructs us to honor the Sabbath.
Be still, and know that I am God.
“Busy” can become somewhat of an idol. Always on the go, never stopping to rest the mind and allow the Spirit to direct us. Being busy is really tempting because it makes us feel useful, and being “productive” feels good, in a task-master sort of way. Getting things done, checking them off lists. Feeling accomplished. Taking advantage of amazing opportunities. The devil isn’t in our meetings, our kids’ soccer games and running errands, but he is the master of disorder, discontent, and pulling us away from the Lord. We weren’t made to fill our lives with so much stuff that we can hardly think of anything other than the next thing on our schedule. We are easily distracted and can drift away from our first love if we’re not careful.
I ask myself about the things I am busying myself with. Is this Kingdom-minded? Will I be a blessing to someone through this? Is this only for my own self-ambition or will He receive glory in this? Even the things that are for Him, is this where He has called me to be?
Most importantly, where IS God? Is He in our rushing through traffic, struggling to get things done, juggling too many committments?
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
1 Kings 19:11-12
The Lord is in the soft, still voice of the Spirit. He is in the quiet moments with His Word, reflecting on His promises.
…when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.”
When Jesus was in the home of Mary and Martha, Mary sat at His feet to listen to what he was saying, while Martha was overwhelmed with doing everything:
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Though some people can handle more of busy-ness in their lives than others, I think God calls us to really think about what we are spending our time on and to pray about the things we take on, because being with Him is always most important. He doesn’t want us to be lazy and fruitless, but I fear that the busier we get in this life, the easier it is to lose Him without even noticing we’ve fallen away. We must remember Him always, love Him first, reflect on His goodness and His promises, and rest in His everlasting love.
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light…
And all you ever wanted…only me, on my knees, singing, “Holy, holy!”
Somehow all that matters now, is, you are holy, holy.
Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.