Busyness seems like a good thing or, at least, a neutral thing regarding the spiritual aspect of our lives. But is it?
Corrie Ten Boom once said,
“IF THE DEVIL CAN’T MAKE YOU SIN, HE WILL MAKE YOU BUSY.“
Well, let’s consider how both sin and busyness affect our lives.
Yep, there are definitely similarities to how sin affects our lives. Sin seems harmless, fun, and important. Busyness has that affect too. Oh, then there is that distraction technique Satan uses so well. Both of these activities keep our minds on other things than God.
SO, DID JESUS SAY ANYTHING ABOUT BUSYNESS?
In Luke 14: 16-24, Jesus tells the ‘Parable of the Great Feast.’
Think ‘save the date’ is a modern thing? Not so much. In Jesus’ day, people received two invites to parties. The first to alert them to the upcoming event and then later: hey, it’s time to come!
In this parable, by the time the second invite came, people were way too busy for a silly banquet. Inspecting a field, trying out oxen, and a new marriage were a few of the excuses.
Did the host say he understood? Absolutely not. He was furious and withdrew the invitation and gave it to those who were outcasts in society.
What is the analogy here? The Jews accepted the first invitation of Moses but didn’t accept the second one from Jesus. They were too important and busy with their customs, traditions, and religious rituals to recognize their long-awaited Messiah! So, Jesus invited the Gentiles (outcasts) to the party!
Now before we criticize the Jews for lacking foresight, what are we like in our daily living?
Are we too busy to accept Jesus’ invitation to worship, pray, study His Word, accept the call, go to the mission field, etc.?
After all, our day is so jammed packed that skipping or shortening quiet time with God is the sensible, even necessary, thing to do. When the schedule is full Sunday rest just isn’t possible! Perhaps even Sunday worship can’t be fit in!
DAVID ADDRESSED BUSYNESS IN THE PSALMS.
David writes in Psalm 62: 5: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone.” (NIV)
I envision David in the fields resting in God as he composed these beautiful Psalms that exalted and glorified God’s greatness and goodness. David knew how to be still before God and become a man after God’s own heart.
Also, note that the Psalm says, find rest in God alone. It is the only true rest.
WAYS TO TAKE A BREAK FROM BUSYNESS
Of course, we have responsibilities that must be handled. We have to make a living, children need care, relationships need nurtured. And it is certainly possible to work for the Kingdom and have a busyness attack.
Nevertheless, we all know that even Jesus rested and that resting in God is important. We must determine our priorities and balance our lives to allow Jesus to take first place.
Remember Martha of the Martha and Mary saga! Jesus basically told Martha that Mary’s priorities (sitting at His feet worshipping and learning) were in the right place. If you don’t know the story it is found in Luke 10: 38-42.
To help us focus and not be distracted by busyness, here are a couple of ideas taken from my eBook on prayer:
TAKE A VOW OF SILENCE
Although the length of time can vary, silence quiets the chaos in our lives and minds and allows God to break through. If you want to really get serious about silence there are retreat centers that help with this discipline.
FALL ASLEEP LISTENING TO GOD’S WORD
Listen to an audio Bible or personally tape some Psalms or comforting passages. Of course, there are many apps out there that have comforting lessons from the Bible to listen to as you drift off to sleep. Encounter or You Version are just two that are available free of charge.
Additionally, take a look at a previous blog post ‘Five Steps Closer to God.’ It uses Zacchaeus as an unlikely example of how to ‘stop collecting taxes’ and spend time with our Savior.
For some other ideas, check out my free eBook: Twenty-one Ways to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life.
As always, comments are welcomed and encouraged. Do you have an idea that works for you to keep the distraction of busyness out of your life? Please share what helps you in this area, make a prayer request, or discuss anything on your mind.
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