Today I am burdened.
*My house looks like a scene from a ground zero disaster.
*I have very real work deadlines that are closing in as well as self-imposed ones.
* We are supposed to leave on a five day camping trip today and I still have to shop for groceries and pack my personal items as well as all of the things my family needs to survive because we definitely are not people who like to “rough it” even when camping.
*To top it all off, my oldest daughter has a mandatory orientation for Dual Credit classes that we must attend.
I am overwhelmed. My list of things that must be done far outweigh what I feel that I have time to do. Can you relate?
In these times (and they happen far too frequently) the world and even my instincts tell me to work harder, work faster, do not slow down. There is so much to be done and there is no time for rest. There is no time to pause and seek God or invite Him into my hectic schedule. (Even as I type this I am getting the "stink eye" from my husband. He is wondering why I'm on the computer reaching out to you instead of running around like a crazy woman trying to get everything done)
I would like to say that I am skilled at bringing these thoughts into captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5).
I would like to say it is easy for me to pause long enough to lay the heavy burden of my “to-do list” at the feet of Jesus and allow Him to give me rest (Matthew 11:28)
I wish that as I feel myself becoming depleted of energy, I would just stop and wait upon God so my strength could be renewed (Isaiah 40:31).
Instead of these things, far too often I rush through life with the mantra “I just don’t have time for stopping and waiting for God.” It’s funny how I can continue to add more stuff to my “to do list” but default to not having enough time to pause for God.
This leads me to ask myself, “What is the issue?” If I can continue to add more to my “get it done” list, why can’t I make it a priority to invite God to be a part of it? Why can’t I just stop for 10 minutes (or even 1 or 2) to allow Him to refill me so that I have the strength to continue on? Why is He the only optional part of my schedule?
Here are the things that I think it could be:
I confuse business with faithfulness: I bury myself in serving others, building a business that points people to Jesus by way of the books I author, the Life Coaching sessions that I do 1:1, the mentoring, and the retreats and events that I speak at. I pour lots of myself into these things and always use God as the compass. I can by all means continue in this way making the service a priority but for how long? How long will it be before I am on the floor, worn out, broken, and giving up?
I confuse excellence with perfectionism: I keep myself so busy and don’t enjoy most of the journey because everything must be done and it must be perfect. I get trapped in gravitational pull of perfectionism. It keeps everything ridged and non-flexible. Perfectionism is about my own strength and ability. That is now how God designed us though. Excellence is about His ability and grace through me. Perfectionism wears me out and pushed people away because nothing will ever be good enough or acceptable. Excellence allows me to walk in peace and trust God.
I might be a little bit of a control freak: I think this comes with perfectionism. With the need to be in control, I am essentially saying that I am the only one who can do it and do it right. It shows a lack of trust and God. Sure, God made me detail oriented for a reason, but it was not for me to take His place on the throne of my own heart.
I know that I am not the only one who lives like this. Business seems to be an epidemic with most of the people I know.
So what do I do? How do I make it a priority to pause and wait on God when in the natural is seems like I just don’t have time?
I find the answer in Romans 12:2. It tells me to not be conformed to the patterns of this world (the pattern of busyness applies), but I am to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. (It gets renewed in the time of pause…waiting on God) After that, I will be able to test and approve what God’s will is for me, my life, and my day. I might even learn what He wants me to have on my to-do list. Just as important I might find out what He wants me to remove from my list of obligations.
This leads me to the last questions. How do I pause? How do I add something in when I can’t breathe as it is? I have come up with a starting point. As God opens your schedule, you may want to add more time to any or all of these ideas.
Worship Music: find a place to just sit and listen to worship music. Most songs are 3-4 minutes long so give yourself permission to physically and mentally be still for the length of one song. It the time of one game of Candy Crush Saga and I promise you will get more out of it. During this time just listen to the words and allow your heart and mind to engage and connect with the Father you are seeking.
Thanking God: Set your timer for 3-4 minutes. Go to a quiet place (I typically have to do this in my car sitting in my driveway) and just thank God. Thank Him for what He has done in your life, who He is to you. Just open your heart and pour gratefulness out to Him. Lavish Him with the praises He deserves.
Prayer: Here again, set your timer for 3-4 minutes. Find a quiet place and give Him your “to-do list." You care about the list and every detail on is. The Word says for us to cast our cares upon the Lord… and He will new our strength. If you need strength to tackle your list, this is the way to get it.
I want to be honest, all of you. I am absolutely “preaching to the choir” on this issue. I suffer from the disease of busyness. Thankfully the it is curable and doesn't have to be terminal.
There is hope…for each of us!
Scripture references for this post:
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Matthew 11:28(NIV) 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest