Lately I’ve noticed that every time I ask someone how they’re doing, how their summer was, etc., I get the same answer –
I hear it so often, and I catch myself saying it often enough that the word “busy” has begun to sound like nails on a chalkboard to me. The Lord has started highlighting to me how often we use that term to define so many areas of our lives. So I pressed in and asked why He was highlighting it.
The dictionary defines “busy” as –
” and “
How many of you would say that pretty much defines your life at this point in time – “engaged in work, not at leisure”?
I’ve been reading a daily devotional with my daughter and this week the devotions were emphasizing how little time we have here on earth and how our focus should be aimed at building our relationship with the Lord and getting ready for our eternity with Him.
I would guess that’s probably the opposite of how most of us live our lives. Instead of slowing down to focus on the reason we’re here on earth, we pack our days full of work, activities and all these things that seem important. But I want to challenge you to look at all the things that make your life so “busy” and ask yourself how important those things really are.
When Matt and I got married 13+ years ago, my mother-in-law gave me a great piece of advice. She told me the day, and the wedding, would go by in a whirlwind but she challenged me to take a minute, a couple times throughout the day, to STOP, look around, and take in everything that was happening around me. I took her advice and to this day I can still remember what was going on around me, and I have very vivid memories from those priceless moments from our wedding day.
The reason I’m sharing that story is because I feel like the same concept should apply to our daily lives. Instead of filling our days with busyness, let’s STOP, look around and take in the moments. When I get older and look back on my life I don’t want the definition of my days, months and years to be that I was “busy”. I want to look back at my life and remember the moments with my daughter, the moments I stopped and took in everything going on around me.
Our time here is so limited and truly none of us know how much time we have, it could be 1 more day, 1 more month or 30 more years. How we spend that time isn’t just important to our family and friends, it’s also very important to the Lord.
I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.” Ecclesiastes 3:10-12 (NLT)
God has placed eternity in our hearts. From the time we are born our journey has begun, it doesn’t end when we die and start over when we get to Heaven, it’s a continuation. Heaven is only a transition from one place to another, not a reset button.
When I think about my life with the perspective that I have already begun my journey to eternity, it makes me re-evaluate what I view as important. I don’t want the first part of my eternal journey to be filled with busyness, I want to shift my perspective to make sure I’m having an impact and filling my time with things that are not only important to me, but also valuable to the Lord.
Go ahead and make all the plans you want, but it’s the Lord who will ultimately direct your steps.” Proverbs 16:1 (tPt)
If we insist on doing things our way and filling our lives with the things we think are important, then we’re only making life harder on ourselves. Some of the things that consume your time probably are very important, but take a moment, STOP and ask God why He has you there. Don’t just go to work and let it fill up all your days for no reason, ask God what His purpose is, why He placed you in that job, with those co-workers.
If we put our heads down and plow through every task with our own purpose, we will be missing out on so much. I guarantee you that if you slow down seek God’s purpose for the things in your life, you will feel more satisfied. Your job won’t just feel like work because it will have purpose. Shuttling your kids around won’t just feel like your second job, it will feel like moments in time you have to speak life and confidence into them.
Seek God’s purpose for all the things in your life, and if you feel like He’s telling you to lay something down, eliminate it from your schedule, listen to Him! For the last 6 years I filled every minute of my day with things I felt were important until last year when I got a reality check from the Lord. I was so unhappy and stressed with where I was at and God showed me it was because I wasn’t living my life for His purpose. When I laid down what He asked me to, I began to find so much more fulfillment in my life and in each day.
There are days I feel like I should do more, I should volunteer more, “I should…”, but then the Lord reminds me that I’m exactly where He wants me to be and He will let me know when it’s time to add something to my schedule.
Let’s not be “busy” anymore, let’s be purposeful!
Because if we’re not being purposeful, what will have been the point of the beginning of our eternal life? So STOP, take a minute, take in everything that’s going on around you and anything that’s not worth burning in the memory of your heart, get rid of it.
You’re only truly happy when you walk in total integrity, walking in the light of God’s Word! What joy overwhelms everyone who keeps the ways of God, those who seek Him as their heart’s passion! How I long for my life to bring you glory as I follow each and every one of your holy precepts!” Psalm 119:1-2, 5 (tPt)