Gods Antidote to Busyness

Busy.  I am busy.  Sometimes, I’m busy because I’ve got a lot to do.  Sometimes, I’m busy because I’ve put some things off too long.  Sometimes, honestly, I’m busy because I don’t know how not to be.  In our western culture in the US, life moves at a breakneck pace.  We rush and rush and rush to cram one more appointment into the day, take care of the to-do list we made too long in the first place, or return that pressing phone call.  If we aren’t taking an appointment, or making one, we are responding to emails or sending text messages. I know some people who seem to constantly get in over their heads to feel a sense of accomplishment.  Time is money, isn’t it?  I recently read this article from Dr. Stephanie Brown in the New York Post chronicling just what I am describing.

Other parts of the world, thankfully, haven’t caught up with our busyness addiction.  In the last few years, I have been able to serve on mission in Haiti, Honduras, and Kenya.  All three of these nations operate much, much slower than we do.  When my family and I were in Honduras together on a mission trip, our host pastor was taking us to a wedding he was leading one evening after our work was done.  We arrived back from a hot day in the villages around 5:00 pm to get ready for the wedding that was scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm.  When we asked our host pastor what time we should be ready to leave for the wedding, he said, “6:15.”  You read that right.  The preacher of the wedding said we didn’t need to leave until 15 minutes after the wedding was supposed to start. Cue three brides-to-be hyperventilating, two mothers-of-the bride immediately calling their pastor to make sure this doesn’t happen to them, and at least one preacher chuckling and snickering while reading this.  That’s life lived at a different pace.

Coming back stateside from parts of the world that creep along much more slowly has felt like trying to jump onto a running treadmill going full speed.  It’s reminded me of just how fast, and maybe just how wrongly fast, we sometimes try to go here.  I’m finding that if I will slow down and dig deeper into the words of God, he has a different pace for us to be living by.

35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Mark 1:35-39

Jesus, in the midst of the pressure of all those who needed him–even desperately needed him–found his way to rest, slow down, and pray.  We would do well to follow in those footsteps.

A few years ago, another verse of Scripture began to hammer this same lesson into me.  As 2017 neared an end, I found myself gravitating back to it.  Over the next few posts, I will be unpacking four key truths from Psalm 46:10 that have been helping me still my busyness.

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

As we navigate these simple, powerful words together, it’s my hope we all will find rest from our busyness in stillness before God.  But I’m curious.  What antidotes to over-busyness have worked for you? What’s God used to help you slow down?  What lessons could you pass along to myself or others?  I look forward to your posts in the comments section.

11 Comments

  1. I have chosen the begin a lifestyle called minimalism. Like most things, it takes time to get where you want to be. Over my break from school I decided to not only be minimalist with my possessions, but also with my time. So often I found myself slaving to accomplish things that may or may not be most important to complete that day. At first, I was terrified to be this “strict” with my days because I am spontaneous and I would loose my freedom. At least this is what I thought. I have found tbg being this strict has allowed me to actually be more free. This is the same with daily reading the word and praying continually. Its seems like slavery and it is. But it’s the only source of true freedom and purity.

    Planning to achieve each day what’s most important has allowed me to be free from the western mind set of consumerism and busyness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This article only drives home the thought that has weighted heavy on me the last few weeks. Over Christmas break I experienced a great deal of pressure and there’s more to come, but the one truth that remains to pierce my heart and mind is, in Gods time. We want to rush everything to fit our schedule and our agenda to work for our good, but we quickly forget it’s for His good and His glory. It’s a process of testing and time. Too often I believe we only look at the top layer of issues when God is seeing the real problem, and that’s the sin problem. We can’t fix everything by throwing money at it or having two counseling sessions. If we would slow down and see life through the eyes of love and discipleship maybe we would slow down some.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Often times I struggle in life with understanding what it truly means, to actually Rest, and slow down. Be still and know that I am God……. Psalm 46:10. But they that wait on the Lord……. Isaiah 40:31. In my life I get so busy so complacent on things that are going on that I loose sight of who God really is. I love this post because it reminds of the times when I slow down and rest, I really see God in all of His Glory. It is my hope on a daily basis to try to live my life on a slower pace, to get to know my Lord on deeper, more personal level. May God be glorified through everything in life.

    Liked by 1 person

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