November 16, 2017

When Life Gets Too Busy

I’ve lost track of how often I’ve told people lately that life is “too busy.” And generally, those people repeat it right back to me…

We are busy people.

That’s just the way life goes. But quite often, we are too busy. For instance, you might be too busy if…

Too Busy— you can’t find time to get the rest you need.

you can’t sleep whenever you do finally get to rest, because your mind keeps racing with all you have to do.

— you don’t have time to fellowship with God’s people, your family in Christ.

you have little time to feast on God’s Word.

— you view people as interruptions rather than opportunities to minister.

you don’t have time to spend a few minutes listening and encouraging someone in need.

— you throw things together last-minute, rather than doing a job that truly honors God.

you live under constant stress and hurry, along with everyone around you.

But I want you think about something for a moment. Take just a few minutes out of your busyness to flip through the Gospels. Notice how Christ ministered — how He lived.

Never once does it say He was in a hurry.
Never once does it show Him rushing around.
Never once does He ignore people or put them off until later.

Christ only had about thirty years on this earth — that’s not very much time to save the whole world. But He focused on what His Father wanted Him to do, and He made time for people. Life may have moved at a slower pace 2000 years ago, but I’m sure He had demands on His time and interruptions to His daily routine. Some things don’t change that much in a few thousand years.

But He was at peace.

He ministered wherever He was, and whenever people came to Him.

Do you do that?

Or are you so stressed that you stress other people out? Are you so rushed that you can’t take time to listen to your child’s jokes, or smile at your spouse when they come home at night? Are you so busy that you can’t stop for five minutes to call a friend and ask how they’re doing, or write a quick email to someone who’s hurting?

I think we let ourselves get too busy, simply because we don’t think about it. You know — an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and all that? We start doing, and start adding more and more to our schedules, until our lists have lists that have lists. And we never completely stop and re-think why we’re adding so much.

Of course, sometimes you can’t control everything you need to do. If you have kids, or you’re caring for your parents (or some other loved one); if you have a full-time job outside the home; if you have special occasions to prepare for and celebrate; if you’re just going through a crazy season of life — you might not be able to cut back on what has to be done.

But you can make sure that, even in the busyness, you keep your priorities straight. So maybe the laundry doesn’t get folded today — because you choose to spend five extra minutes laughing with your son or daughter. So maybe dinner isn’t as healthful or fancy as you prefer — because you choose to spend five minutes letting a friend cry on your shoulder. So maybe that blog post doesn’t get written as soon as you want — because you choose to spend a little extra time soaking in God’s Word.

I read two posts recently about this very thing, at a time when I really needed them. And if you can relate to what I’ve been saying, then I think they’ll be an encouragement to you as well:

Busyness Is Not a Virtue — I’m not familiar with this blog, but it was shared by a friend and I found it quite helpful. Busyness is often lauded, yet none of us truly enjoy that feeling of being spread too thin. This article shares a few ways to step back, press pause, and learn to do less.

Busyness, the Killer to Loving Others — I am familiar with this blog, and truly enjoy Mel’s daily-ish devotionals! This article shares how busyness can kill relationships. And that’s a problem, because Christ commands us to make loving each other a priority. So how can you do that, and still fulfill your own responsibilities?

 

What do you think? How do we stop ourselves from getting to the point of being too busy — or change things, once we’re already there? Thoughts?

 

Take time out this week to spend in God’s Word.
Here’s the weekly reading plan:

Tuesday: Romans 14-16, Proverbs 22:17-29
Wednesday: Ruth 1-4, Proverbs 23:1-18
Thursday: Ephesians 1-3, Proverbs 23:19-35
Friday: Ephesians 4-6, Proverbs 24:1-22
Saturday: 1 Samuel 1-3, Proverbs 24:23-34
Sunday: 1 Samuel 4-6, Proverbs 25:1-14
Monday: reflection or catch-up

Comments

  1. Stopping by from Gracelaced. I need to remember this. I am often way too busy! Roz – alittlerandr.org

  2. Great post and thank you so much for sharing the iDonethis piece. It was great too. Busyness is such a contagious and deceptive choice. It’s hard to avoid. But I try to remember that “No” is a complete sentence. It’s a hard sentence to speak but an important one to use if we want to protect boundaries (and our sanity!!).

    • Molly, saying “no” was a very hard thing for me to learn when I first got sick… but it really makes such a difference! And it (mostly) gets easier the more you practice, which always helps. 🙂

  3. the white wave says:

    I’ve learned that for me, pre-prioritizing is key. For example, we all have our priorities, and that makes it so easy and guilt-free to say no to some things; but I always leave room for a few special priorities that may come up last minute. For example, I might plan to go to a baby shower, but I always have the caveat in my mind, “unless P asks me to go for a walk.” I have always put much value on making a plan and sticking with it, but I have learned that sometimes I need to allow myself to change my plans. A big party or a one-on-one with a dear friend? (I don’t change plans often, but for special people and special circumstances, I’ve learned to be flexible.)

  4. For my personality, busyness can easily become an idol or addiction. I thrive on staying busy, and am uncomfortable when I’m not. Almost like a safety net.

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