Anymore, when I ask someone how they are doing, a common answer is that they are ‘busy.’ I often find myself saying this as a statement of fact, or maybe even as a complaint. Who do we have to blame but ourselves for this predicament? We may have seasons of increased work demands, or a project that is taking up our free time, or even a new addition to the household, but there is always something that demands more of our time. Many of us are just trying to keep up with the day to day demands that we face in our lives. Is it good to be busy? How do we know when we are too busy?
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
In our culture, there is the expectation that we can do it all, and we take off at 60 mph. Maybe that is just our competitive nature to think that if he can do it, I can do it better! Instead of adding one more thing to our plate, maybe we should be asking: ‘What do I need to cut?’ What am I doing that takes away from what is best? Honestly, what often suffers in my life is my time to rest/sleep, or my time with God. The things that I value most often suffer at the expense of other things I value much less. Should this be the case? No. As Jesus states, we should choose what is best. Do we have the discernment to determine this?
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
If you were to list all the things you do that demand your time, then list them from most important to least, would the time you devote to each match up? One of the greatest timeburglars we face each day are distractions in various shapes. Whether in the form of news, social media, phone or text messages, sports or video games, unnecessary conversations, or any other thing, there is much that can take away from our productivity or effectiveness. Even being disorganized or having to run back and forth to get what is needed to accomplish a task can take away from it. There are times that we may feel ‘in the zone’ and making good progress, and times that we may just be spinning our wheels when we are putting forth much effort, but making little progress. Maybe there is something to be learned in each scenario, but what is your reaction when you do not get done what you need to do?
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16
So, every so often, question what you are doing and whether it is really a benefit to you or anyone else. Make time to take things to God and ask for wisdom in your actions from day to day. Even Jesus, who had better discernment and insight than we may ever know, took a break from his ministry to be alone with God on a regular basis. Maybe we can take a few cues from the rhythm of his cycle of work and rest. I have heard some people say “I am too busy not to pray.” So, maybe before jumping in to the next thing with both feet, we should ask for wisdom and discernment to make sure we are jumping in the right direction, if at all. May the fruit of your labors be an indicator of the good work you are doing.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Strength and Courage in Christ,