Thursday, 26 July 2012

Too busy?

Busy, busy, busy.  Busy as a bee.  This definitely seems to describe my life right now.  In fact, I've been so busy that anytime I'm not doing something on my "to do list" I feel guilty.  (Like right now typing up this blog :D)  Summer wasn't supposed to be like this, but you know the way it is, things get pushed off until later and "later" eventually comes.  Or unexpected things get added to an already full plate.  Not only is my plate full, but my wife Suzanne is going through some crazy busyness at her work too.  With three children at home for the summer and all that we have before us, life can seem like it's on the fast spin cycle for sure.

And this busyness takes a toll if we're not careful.  There are many responsibilities that we have in life.  From commitment to our jobs, to caring for our spouse & children (if we have them), to other duties that can get added in, it can seem impossible to manage all of these things effectively.

So what's the solution?  For the Christian, the answer is clear: focus even more on spending time with God.  Now at first that might sound like a crazy thing to say.  After all, aren't there only 168 hours in a week?  If we spend 40-50 of them at work, and the rest eating sleeping and caring for our other needs, where does "more" come from?

I Thessalonians 5:17 says, "pray always".  What does that mean and how does it help?  Spending time in prayer is something that should come naturally, like breathing.  Talking to God and hearing from God can take place anywhere anytime.  Like when I'm typing this blog for example.  And thinking about God and His Word also helps me to focus upon Him no matter where I am.  Psalm 1 says that the blessed man (or woman) "who meditates upon God's Word day and night".  In other words, we think about God and centre ourselves on God day and night.  When we do so, we experience some very real practical blessings.  Foremost is the fact that God gives us peace in the midst of any circumstance.  "You [God] will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You." (Isaiah 26:3)

I know that you might not be able to go through your whole prayer list every day or read 4 chapters from the Bible.  And I know that when you are at work or with your family (or other duties that you have to be engaged in) you have to have your mind focused upon what you're doing, not "spaced out" in some spiritual la-la land.  But keeping God's presence in your conscious mind is something that we both can and should do.  His presence will help us to overcome even the most difficult day.  He will also help us to simplify our lives and put things in the proper order.  This is the wisdom that is promised in James 1 -- wisdom I know that I desperately need. 

There are many days where I feel "stressed out" and the temptation is to view myself as an abject failure because I've blown it.  But that's not a helpful place to be, nor is it where God wants His children to dwell.  Practicing the presence of God in the midst of great busyness can free us from falling into sinful temptations or making wrong decisions.  It will keep us close to His character where there is forgiveness and patience beyond measure.  His Spirit will also surely empower us to accomplish anything that He has set before us.  And we can rest secure in the knowledge that God unconditionally loves His children and will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)  If you are His child, rest on His promises and keep Him in your thoughts and affections.  Let Him take your burden of busyness and He will ease your load.  If you are not His child, submit your heart to Him and ask His Spirit to come and live in your heart.  You will then know the peace of God, even in the middle of a crazy world.