In Christian culture we are good at telling our kids to stay away from immorality, substance abuse, violence, cheating, and other “terrible” sins. We warn against their destructive outcomes and explain that they are against God’s ways. But there is one danger I don’t think parents or even pastors take seriously enough and that’s busyness.
In some ways we’ve elevated busyness as an ideal. We’ve encouraged it. Applauded it. Expected it. After working with teenagers for 10 years I’ve noticed how busy they can become. Between trying to achieve academic success, participating in sports, trying various clubs or internships, entertainment and social time they hardly have any time left. Oh, and then lets add in church activity! As though it’s an after thought. Do you feel the kind of tension I’m talking about here? Have you ever stopped to think about how packed your schedule is?
Where is there room for God? I’m not talking about attending church. I’m talking about communion with the Almighty God of the Universe on your own time. Alone. Quiet. Still. No agenda. No rush. No time limit.
Let me share a few reasons why we need to take the scalpel to our schedule and carve out things that aren’t as important. Are you willing to seriously evaluate your time and take a new approach to living in communion with God on a daily basis?
1 – We are commanded to rest.
The 4th commandment in Exodus 20 is to observe the Sabbath and to keep it Holy. Sabbath is God’s created institution for rest and for trust. One day each week God commanded His people to stop being busy and remember their Holy God. God told us to: rest, be still, be quiet, meditate on His word, and more. Read these thoughts from God’s word below:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37:7)
“You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.” (Psalm 119:114)
It’s been said that God created us to be a human “be-ing” not a human “do-ing”. There are work responsibilities and diligence required for this life but never at the cost of a relationship of communion with the God who makes it all possible. Do you observe this commandment?
2 – Busyness has little to no room for God.
I asked you earlier if you were willing to take a serious look at your schedule and be honest. How much time do you actually spend with God, meditating on His word, being quiet and listening? We also need to constantly evaluate whether the things in our schedule are even worth doing. We need to ask questions like; what purpose does this activity serve? Is this entertainment or hobby God honoring? Is this task for God’s kingdom or my Kingdom?
There are too many people in Christian culture today that are so busy with things that they have pushed God’s great goal for us aside. Francis Chan says, “God’s one great goal for us is Himself.” I also like the way writer and pastor Keith Kaynor says, “What God is doing in us is more important that what we are doing for Him.”
What does God want to do in and through your life? Is it possible that you are so busy lately that there’s little to no room for God to be at work in your life?
Years ago I read in a book about a little boy who told his daddy that he wanted him to join “The Slow Club”. The boy had observed that his dad was so busy with work and hobbies that he wasn’t noticing his family. So, the dad agreed to become a member of The Slow Club and change a few things in his life to be more present with his wife and son. When we pack our schedule with so many things to do we just might be missing out on better things.
It’s very easy to becoming busy. There are plenty of opportunities and endeavors to chase. Being so busy that you miss out on precious time with your family is something you’ll regret. Even more so, waking up one day and realizing you’ve been missing God is even more heartbreaking. Years ago I realized I was going too fast in life as well so guess what I did? I joined the Slow Club. I made some changes and suddenly I started seeing more. The blinders of hustle and hurry came off and I was able to see God more. I saw more of God’s beauty. His provision. His people. His love. His grace. It was beautiful.
One last thing to keep in mind; if we don’t slow down and rest sometimes God makes it happen for us. God knows what we need and sometimes He’s willing to take things away so we have to slow down; a job, money, physical strength, friends, or even our health. I promise you this – it’s a whole lot more enjoyable if you chose to slow down, be still, listen, rest, and communion with God yourself. Don’t wait till God has to slow you down for your own good.