Tag Archives: busyness

Taking A Break

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a person on the go. I didn’t like naps then, and I don’t like them now. Instead of forcing me to take a nap, my mom would have me come inside each day between 1-3. It was her way of getting me out of the heat and forcing me to sit down. These days, that’s my wife’s job. She tells me when I’m too busy or when I need to take a break. I giver her push back like i gave it to my mom. Taking breaks and naps just seem so unproductive and and feel like a waste of time to me. The truth is that they are probably the most productive because they reenergize, refresh and refocus me. In the moment I can’t see that, but it’s true.

When I take what John wrote about Jesus saying that all the books in the world couldn’t contain all the things He did during those three years of ministry, and I read how the crowds constantly followed Him seeking healing, I know He was busy about His Father’s business. From sun up to sun down, day in and day out, Jesus was followed by crowds seeking something from Him. They followed Him in boats, walked miles around the Sea of Galilee just to meet Him on the other side. He was busy, busy, busy, but He also took time to rest. Even when the disciples came back after being sent out to preach, He made them rest. Mark 6:31 says, “There was such a swirl of activity around Jesus, with so many people coming and going, that they were unable to even eat a meal. So Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Come, let’s take a break and find a secluded place where you can rest a while’” (TPT).

When’s the last time you took a break? I mean a real break where you stepped aside, quit thinking and worrying about everything and just rested? If you can’t think of it, that’s been too long. God designed your body and your brain to need a break. Jesus constantly took them and He was still productive. God took a break after creating everything just to show us we need one. The word “Sabbath” means “to stop”. It’s not that the things you’re doing aren’t important. It’s that it’s more important to stop often. Your life and health are more important than the things you’re doing. If you’re busy like me, you’ll need to schedule your break and put it on your calendar. Taking a break is just as godly as being busy.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

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Slowing Down

I like to say that I’m one of the busiest people I know. I hate down time and being unproductive. It’s been that way since I was a kid. I remember hating taking showers or even having to go to the restroom because they were wasting my time. I grew up to work for a company that embraced busyness and expected it. Most people there didn’t just work 9-5. They took work home and did it in the evening and at night at the expense of family time. With high expectations of busyness and productivity, I thrived and felt at home. Busyness has become a badge of honor, not just at that company, but in our world. We’re constantly on the go, juggling more balls than we can handle, and we’re teaching it to our kids.

I think that’s why so many of us are struggling with being quarantined with this pandemic. It’s forcing us to slow down and rest. It has fundamentally altered our life and schedule, and so many people are feeling unproductive because of it. I believe it’s part of God’s plan to make us rest and reset though. He’s the one who instituted a day of rest even before the fall of man, but we haven’t been good about honoring that commandment. To me, this is like God slowing us down to teach us that life goes on even if you’re not busy. The bonus is that you get to rest and reset your priorities in the process.

Psalm 23 is one of the most famous passages in scripture, but have you really listened to the 2nd and 3rd verses? They say, “He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life)” (AMP). The way I memorized it said, “He MAKES me lie down…” God’s plan for us is not to be busy, but to restore us and to refresh us. If we won’t take the time to do it, He’ll lead us into those places of rest. If you’re going nuts during this time, change your perspective to see that God is leading you to green pastures so that you can get unbusy and rest. Let Him refresh your life and help you to reset how you live going forward.

Photo by Hector Gomez on Unsplash

If you’d like to read up on how to do that better, my friend Dr. Garland Vance wrote a book called “Gettin’ Unbusy” to help you. Buy it here.

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Slow Down

Recently my wife and the Lord have told me that it’s time to start saying no to things. When life gets so busy that you’re double booking, forgetting things you’ve agreed to and are living exhausted all the time, you’re doing too much. Life has lots of demands by itself, then we start complicating it by adding things to it. If we’re not careful, we can get so caught up in doing things for our families, our friends, our churches and others that we forget to stop and rest. Worse yet, we can miss our quiet time with God.

Busyness is not necessarily a sign of Godliness. In our minds, it’s easy to equate the two, but there is a point where we just need to stop, sit down and feed ourselves mentally, spiritually and emotionally. When Jesus went to the house of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, Martha was busy preparing food and serving her guests. She was doing what was necessary because she had guests, but she was stressing herself out too. That’s when she noticed her sister wasn’t even helping her. Instead, she was just sitting there listening to Jesus.

When Martha complained to Jesus, His reply to her was also to us. In Luke 10:41 He said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things” (AMP). Each one of us should substitute our name for hers right there and know that God is ok with you slowing down, clearing your calendar and removing the things from your life that distract you from Him. Life isn’t about being busy all the time. It’s preparation for eternity. When you get to Heaven, you’re not going to be asked how busy you were or how much you accomplished. You’re going to be asked how well you knew Jesus and how well He knew you.

Photo by Karen Lau on Unsplash

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Full Speed


My son is every bit of six years old. He runs through the house at full speed, laughs so hard he can’t hear anything and has to do everything himself. There are many times when I’m trying to give him instructions, but he keeps going. I yell his name to get his attention, but he keeps going. I’ve tried with everything in me to get him to hear me, but often I get no response while he’s moving around. It’s not until I have to get up, go over to him and get in his space that he hears me or realizes I’m trying to give him instruction. 

I know he probably gets that from me, and as I think about it, I wonder how often that describes me today. How often is God trying to get my attention, screaming my name, but I can’t hear Him because of my busyness? I’ve got a lost of things to do, my mind is racing with ideas of what’s next and I’m halfway looking where I’m going. I don’t stop until God gets in my space and says, “Hey! I’m trying to talk to you. I’ve been trying to get your attention, but you won’t stop and listen.” 

In those moments, I wonder how long He had been trying to get my attention. I have to think back, replay the last little bit and see all the ways He was trying to get my attention. I then seek forgiveness for being to busy to hear Him and renew my commitment to slow down. That’s when I’m reminded of Psalm 46:10. It says, “Be still, and know that I am God!” (NLT) I think the Psalmist was a lot like me and that was his message from God that goes out to all of us who run full speed all the time.

I’ve learned that God cares less about my busyness and more about my ability to stop and listen. I’m learning from my son that when I’m running around, I can’t hear what’s being said. I can’t focus on what I’m supposed to. How many mishaps could have been prevented? How many blessings have I missed out on because I was too busy to hear Him? If you’re like me, let me encourage you to take time to stop today and listen. Chances are that God is calling your name and is trying to get your attention. 

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More Important Things


Sometimes we will host a large group of people in our home for a birthday party or some other event. My personality style wants to make sure everyone is taken care of. I go around making sure people have what they need, empty the trash, put out more food, etc. at the end of the night, after we’ve cleaned everything and head to bed, my wife will sometimes ask, “Who all did you get to talk to? Did you visit with your aunt? Or did you get to visit with this person?” More often than not, my answer is, “No one. I was too busy.”

In my business, I forget to slow down and engage with people. My mind says that for people to have a good time, there needs to be food out, plates cleaned up, and the trash has to be taken out. Most of that can be done after the party, but it’s hard for me to let go. I get distracted by all there is to do, and then end up not interacting with my guests the way I should. I find that I have a lot in common with Lazarus’ sister Martha.

She hosted a party for Jesus and His disciples in Luke 10. While she was cooking food, taking out the trash, picking up plates, and such, her sister Mary was just sitting there interacting with Jesus. I’m sure she asked her for a help a few times before she complained to Jesus. She said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work?” (NLT) She was socked by Jesus’ answer I’m sure because it goes against her personality.

In verse 41-42, Jesus said, “But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.’” God is less concerned with our busyness in making sure things get done than with our interaction with Him. Yes, things need to get done, but there are more important things out there. Sitting at Jesus’ feet is one of them.

You and I can get so caught up in the work of ministry and the life of a Christian that we forget to spend time with Jesus. When we fail to interact with Jesus, it’s easy to begin to think our work is what impresses God and others. It’s time each of us stopped the things that keep us busy and spend time interacting with Jesus. I think we’ll find direction and become more productive when we do. Doing Kingdom work is good, but it needs to come after we’ve spent time in His presence. 

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Intimate Conversations 


I like to tell people that I’m the busiest person I know. I carry two phones with three numbers attached to them. I work a full time job, write, do ministry, and drive for Uber at night. I look around though, and see other people who are just as busy. Somehow in our world, we equate busyness with value. The more we do, the greater we are. Even in the Church, we have adopted this mentality with ministers and lay leaders. We are always on the clock, we never take a sabbatical, and we never say “no” to anything or anyone.

That’s not the example Jesus gave us for ministry. Even though He was very busy and sought after, Luke 5:16 says, “Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (NLT). The model He gave us was to step away from our duties often to spend time alone with the Father. He understood that it is not wise to continually give without going to the Father for a refill. As our lives become more busy, our intimate conversations alone with God in our prayer closet should increase.

Revival is coming and we need to be in the habit of stepping aside from all the distractions to spend time alone in prayer. Performing miracles, leading the lost to the cross, caring for the poor, and preaching are not supposed to take the place of our quiet time with God. He wants us to understand that busyness equals distractions and distractions keep us from going into our prayer closet. We can’t have the power of God flowing through us until we have been intimate with Him. God has always valued alone time with Him more than our busyness for Him.

Think of Martha and Mary. Martha was the one who welcomed Jesus into their home and as Luke 10:40 says, “was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing.” Mary was the one who was just sitting at the Lord’s feet listening. When Martha complained that she was doing all the work, the Lord replied, “There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it.” Each of us need to discover what that is as well. We need to take time often to just sit at the feet of Jesus, away from the distractions, and listen. That is what Jesus values and what we should value as well.

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Tired Of Being Busy

Time. It’s the one thing everyone has the same amount of each day. It’s also the thing most of us wish we had more of. There’s always someone or something that is after our time. Since we can’t make more of it, we have to choose daily what to sacrifice because we can’t do everything we want. Usually we cut out time with meaningful relationships including God. “I’ll pray extra tomorrow, God,” we promise. “I’ll take off work early tomorrow so we can go do that thing,” we tell our significant other. Yet, we have no idea what tomorrow will bring.

I know what it’s like to be pulled in every direction, to have my inbox full, to have reports that need to be run, to own a phone that won’t stop buzzing, from people who need answers, to have a child who needs attention, friends who want to hang out and a spouse who just wants some quiet time with me. It gets overwhelming at times. It’s hard to know how and what to prioritize. There’s so much that has to be done, so little time to do it in and not enough of me to go around. Sound familiar?

Lazarus’ sister Martha felt that way too. In Luke 10:40, the Bible says, “Martha, overly occupied and too busy, was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him (Jesus, who was in her house) and said, ‘Lord, is it nothing to you that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me, to lend a hand and do her part along with me. (AMP)'” She was wore out doing all the things that were required of her and wanted some help from her sister who was just sitting there listening to Jesus. She was tired and crying for help.

Jesus’ response was strange. He didn’t tell Mary to help her out. He didn’t chastise her either for not serving The Lord. In fact, He got onto Martha who was the one being busy for Him. He said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it…and it won’t be taken from her. (MSG)” He told her that her busyness was “nothing”. He told her that being busy was not what He was looking for. He wanted someone who would use their time getting to know Him. He wanted someone who would stop what they were doing and listen. The one essential thing He said was to sit at His feet.

I get caught up in the lies that Martha believed. In my mind, I think that busyness for God equals greatness with God. I think serving Him through works equals righteousness. Those things are great, but what He really wants is that thing that everything else wants. Time. He wants you to spend time with Him more than He wants you to be busy about His work. He wants you to sit and listen instead of being so distracted by everything you’re doing. He’s not interested in us getting stressed by doing Kingdom work nearly as much as He is at having us relax at His feet. He understands that time is our most valuable asset and He wants us to use it to draw close to Him.

What will you do with your time today?

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