Have you noticed “busy” is the new “fine”?
People ask “How are you?” We answer “Busy” or “Busy as always!”
And it’s true- we’re busier than ever before. Even before the school routine is up & running after summer, I feel like I’m scrambling to keep on top of work responsibilities. Time spent working is mushrooming out of my control. Like many, I’m drowning in a sea of paperwork! We often are so busy we feel dizzy & weighed down by pressure!
‘Beware the barrenness of a busy life’ urges Socrates
‘Busy is not the same as productive’ states minimalist Joshua Becker
We’ve got to face facts-there’s never going to be more hours in the day.Twenty four hours are available, & that’s it.
The challenge is to re-orientate our days & maximise our time.
We crave the utopia of life-work balance. To achieve it, we must look to the One who keeps planets in orbit -our Creator God who made the world then rested.
How can we maximise our time?
Seek God first
‘Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.’
(1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV)
In quiet moments with God, consider:
*What has God given you to do?
*What is your assignment from Him?
*Are you where God wants you to be?
If you honestly answer these questions, I suspect you’ll either feel a calm assurance or an unsettling realization that something has to change.
At the Worldwide Convention, I heard Jamie Taylor (great-great grandson of Hudson Taylor) ask:
‘How is God using your profession as a profession of faith?’
‘Your career is what you’re paid for.
Your calling is what you’re made for’
Once you discover your God-given assignment, don’t hide from it (like Saul who hid in the baggage when Samuel was choosing the first king- see I Sam 10)
Samuel later urged Saul:
“But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”
(1 Samuel 12:24 NIV)
Whatever you do pray
Samuel’s challenging last words to Saul were:
“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you”
(1 Samuel 12:23 NIV)
We can pray about our day ahead, our family, friends & co-workers. We can talk to God about our pressures & frustrations.
Make good choices
In her devotional book Savor, Shauna Niequist encouraged me to make a list of things I do & things I don’t do. This helped bring clarity to what I should agree to, & things I should decline.
‘Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t matter’ (Francis Chan)
Make time for healthy habits
If we are to stay well enough to accomplish what we’re meant to, we need to eat well & get adequate rest. We need to carve out time for exercise. For me- preferably in the great outdoors. There’s nothing like connecting with creation to clear the mind!
Cut out distractions
“It is impossible to do everything people want you to do. You have just enough time to do God’s will. If you can’t get it all done, it means you’re trying to do more than God intended for you to do (or, possibly, that you’re watching too much television.”
(Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life)
We all need to relax & unwind at times. But, we all waste time. Maybe you binge-watch TV? Perhaps, like me, you’re busy surfing (the net) On 24th August 2017,there were 1 billion Facebook users in a single day!
“One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”
Hard hitting words from John Piper
Like David, we can pray:
“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.”
(Psalm 119:37 NIV)
Just do it!
So, as we start another week, in our unique God-given assignments :
‘My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.’ (Colossians 2:6, 7 MSG)
And remember, you don’t have to complete your assignment alone, God is with you & will give you the strength you need:
‘We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.’
(Colossians 1:12 MSG)