Tag Archives: too busy

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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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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Before You Start

  
I, like you, have a pretty busy day and week ahead of me. From the moment I woke up I started thinking of all the things I need to do to accomplish everything today. My mind races to find solutions to scheduling conflicts, deadlines, and how to be in two places at once. I’ve got a to-do list a mile long and a very short time to accomplish it. With all of that happening, do I have time for God?

It’s tough not to put God on a back burner on busy days. He’s the easiest one to “reschedule”, but He’s the last one I need to reschedule. “He’ll understand”, I reason in my mind. “I’ll read my Bible and pray later,” I tell myself. The truth is that I won’t have the time later either. If I don’t make Him a priority right now, I won’t make Him one later. If I don’t slow down now and take time to reflect on Him and His Word, I won’t do it.

God told David in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” David was a king and I’m sure he had a lot on his plate too. He would cry out to God in times of need and celebration. He would throw those 911 prayers up to Heaven like you and I often do. “God, I have a lot to do today. Help me to get it all done”, is what we pray. God wants more than that. He wants us to stop, take a moment and spend some time with Him.

In the world we live in, it’s easy to mix up the temporary with the eternal. It’s easy to reverse their importance. Today, stop, breathe, meditate on His Word, and thank Him. Rest in His arms before you do anything else. Give Him more than a 911 prayer and truly thank Him for another day of life. Thank Him that you even have things on your schedule. Know that He is God and really that’s what matters more than anything else I’ll accomplish today.

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Quiet Place Of Peace

  
Have you ever found yourself looking for a quiet place to get away from it all? In today’s connected world, it’s hard to find a quiet place. We are besieged by emails, texts, and phone calls. Social media calls to us constantly begging for our attention. Our jobs hunt us down after hours to find solutions and our families deserve our time as well. It can be hard to find that place where we find peace among the craziness of life, but it does exist.

David looked for it as well. He didn’t have a cell phone ringing or a boss demanding over time. He had people who were hunting him down to kill him. He lived a lot of his life on the run. He was either being chased or was chasing someone. On top of that, add in that he was running a country. He was a very busy person, yet he longed for that quiet place of peace as well. He wanted a place where he could just rest.

In Psalm 27:3, he describes a little bit of his situation and how it makes him feel. He wrote, “When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool” (MSG). For most of us, we can’t identify with those statements. When we are besieged by our todo list, we are not calm as a baby. We are stressed. When everything seems to come apart at once, we aren’t cool and collected. We become frantic at the situation with no solution. How could David be this way in those situations? He found his quiet place of peace.

In the next few verses, David writes, “I’m asking GOD for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.” He knew that prayer was essential in finding that peace in the storm of life. When we pray, we acknowledge God is in control, even when we aren’t.

He also mentioned meditating on God’s beauty was as well. It’s not enough to just pray. We have to keep our mind on God throughout the day in order to stay in that place. The other thing he did was to study at God’s feet. He made the time to study God’s Word. Knowing what God says and understanding how it applies to your life is critical in finding that place of peace. Stress comes from not being able to balance everything on our plate and losing control of our life. Peace comes from knowing God is in control and then leaving the outcome to Him.

David ends this Psalm with the a way to find confidence in God that comes from the faith that knows God is in control of your life. “I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with GOD! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with GOD.” He gives himself a reminder in the chaos. He wants his mind to stay with God instead of wandering away to all the what if’s. He also reminds himself not to quit or give up. He knows that if we stick with God in every situation, we will find that quiet place of peace.

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The Importance Of Rest

I like to jokingly tell people, “I’m the busiest person I know.” My life, like so many people’s is full of coming and going. Home it seems is just the place you go to sleep at night. Between work, family, friends, and ministry life can get so busy that it’s hard to stop and eat. Most days you plow through work, answer emails, solve problems, get on conference calls, head home, go to a family event, or visit with friends or someone in need. Life is rarely quiet, but that’s just what we need.

Early in Jesus’s ministry, He sent the disciples out two by two. He gave the authority to cast out demons, to heal the sick, and to preach the Gospel. They went from town to town doing just that. Before long, Jesus was a household name in that region. People would come from miles around just to hear Him speak or to get healing for themselves or a loved one. Jesus and the disciples were finding it hard to take a break from ministry.

Mark 6:31 records an interaction between Jesus and the disciples that we can learn from today. It says, “Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat” (NLT). Sound familiar? Jesus lived a busy life just like you and I do. The difference? He understood the importance of rest.

The Blue Letter Bible defines the rest Jesus was talking about as, “To cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength.” Jesus gives you and me permission to take a break and to rest from our ministry and our busy lives. He knows that at times you need to go to that desolate, technology-free, communication-free place in order to recover and collect your strength. There is much work to do, but you’re going to need your strength to be effective in doing it.   

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Take A Break (Video)

40 But Martha, overly occupied and too busy, was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me to lend a hand and do her part along with me!
41 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;
42 There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion, that which is to her advantage, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:40-42

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