Have you ever had a challenge that goes on for years? Possibly spiritually? For example, struggling to have a better prayer life, read your bible, inviting God into your daily life, etc. At different times in my life all three of those have applied, but mine currently, and for the past few years has been of a slightly different nature…my battle has been against busy-ness.
I am always busy. Part of it is my nature—I have a hard time sitting still, and I thrive on productivity. The other part is my season in life (a very long season albeit), raising three children and all the tasks that come in the instruction manual. The problem is, I am tired of hearing myself answer “How are you?” with, “Good, just busy.” It’s my standard answer these days. Can’t there be a better response than that? Like, just, “Good!” Or “I’m fine. A little bored, but enjoying the simple life.” Ha!
Can busyness hinder our relationship with God? Yes! In a sneaky way, since we tend to think being productive and busy is a sign of our competence. Yet, when we move too fast in life, we miss the small things God suggests to us. He does suggest…, in fact, he has a lot to let us in on if we have ears to listen. Like nudging us giving an encouraging word to a friend or stranger, or a conviction to bite our tongue instead of flapping it away in a gust of emotion, or an answer to a problem we just asked but then rushed off without listening to the answer.
We also miss the bigger things. Like His voice guiding our hearts to make a wiser decision when we are barreling toward what we think is best, or not finding peace during a difficult time when it is right there for our taking if only we slowed down enough to grasp it up.
When we live fast we live loud. Quiet is rare and uncomfortable. I know, because I tend to live in the fast lane, always productive, always moving from one thing to the next, with constant noise. Yet, it is in the quiet that we hear God’s whisper of love and joy. Quiet is hard for me. Sitting still is hard for me.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, ~Psalm 23.2
It is to this place of quiet that God wants to lead us! He knows that in stillness there is clarity.
I have been reading a book that is challenging and encouraging me in this area, which I’m sure many of you have read, and if not, may I recommend it as your next.
A Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp.
Ann beautifully pens her thoughts and experiences of finding gratitude in life, and shares how she did so in slowing down, noticing beauty around her, really living in the moment.
Ironically, I have been reading this during an exceptionally busy time of my life. A time where my today’s TO DO list is much longer than it ever should be, and tomorrow’s is even longer.
In the words of the pages I am motivated toward change.
God is too grand and too wise and too personal not to experience….in his fullest. So I too look to thanksgiving to slow me down—when I am thankful for the miniscule and the exceptional, I am forced to slow the pace, like an eagle soaring above the water looking for his catch. Soaring, not speeding. Watchful in the now, not focused on the next.
Live today in the moment. I’m going to try!