My days are now consumed with writing content to teach at a missionary training center in the Middle East next month. The theme: Creating a deeper life.
I spent Saturday focused on the topic of busyness and how it hinders our developing a deeper life. As I prepared my material, I found it pointing directly at me.
We live in a society that glorifies full calendars. We rush from one activity and appointment to the next leaving barely any time to breathe between them. The drive to “do” overtakes the inner voice that urges us to slow down occasionally and just “be,” especially when we see needs around us that scream to be met.
Busyness exacts a price: Our to-do list robs us of the joy of living fully present in the moment. Our calendar refuses to let us stop, sit, and savor time with someone who calls or drops by unexpectedly. Our schedule runs us ragged. Caring for our physical health and our spiritual/emotional well-being falls low on the priority list. Before long, we teeter on empty. We fall into bed exhausted every night only to rise in the morning and repeat.
Is this really the life for which God created us? I think not. Then why do we succumb to the tyranny of the urgent?
I suspect fear plays a role.
Think about it:
- We’re afraid to say no because we don’t want to disappoint those who ask us for favors or to do more work.
- We’re afraid to say no lest others think we’re incapable.
- We’re afraid to decline an opportunity lest we miss out.
- We’re afraid to make changes needed to streamline lest we make the wrong decision, especially if it affects our finances.
- Or—perhaps you can relate—we’re afraid to let go of our innate need for control. We wrongly assume that the things in which we’re involved will fall apart if we step back from them.
Rather than deal with the root issue—fear—we continue our crazy paces, wishing things would slow down and assuming this is all there is to life. What’s a person to do? Scripture contains the answer.
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
One of the outcomes of a crazy-busy lifestyle is that we often relegate our relationship with God to the back burner. Time’s at a premium, so we spend it on what’s most visible—deadlines, work, and family responsibilities. We neglect what matters most—loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. In doing so, we forget that He is God and ultimately controls every detail of our lives and our destiny. We assume that responsibility and the stress and fear that accompanies it.
God has created us for the deeper life, and that centers on intimacy with Him. Only by giving that relationship utmost priority will we learn to understand His character and thereby grow in our ability to trust Him with every detail of our lives. That means withdrawing from life’s busyness long enough to be still in His presence, to read His Word, and to listen for His voice. He’ll tell us where and how He wants us to spend our time and energy.
Busyness can rob us of the deeper life for which God created us. Let’s ensure that doesn’t happen by keeping our relationship with Him our top priority.