Archives For busyness

Making time for God

January 8, 2014 — Leave a comment

will-you-make-time-for-God“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10a

This is a verse that most Christians know, and yet it seems that everything in our modern world works against us.

Phone calls, emails, text messages, social media, television, kids, pets, traffic. The list of distractions is seemingly endless. In a culture that rewards and even demands constant juggling and multitasking, it is incumbent upon each of us to make the effort to focus on spending uninterrupted time with God.

I know, I know. You’re good with juggling tasks. And God understands how busy you are, right?

Actually, I think the level of chaos, clutter, and noise in our lives creates a kind of mental environment in which whatever and whoever is the loudest gets our attention. How many times have you failed to finish — or even begin — focused time in Scripture and prayer, in spite of your best intentions, all because you got interrupted?

If you’re anything like me, you’d prefer that to be a rhetorical question. The truth is that we all fight this ongoing battle to carve out time. And while God, of course, knows the intimate details of our schedules, He also knows how many non-essential, superfluous things win our time and attention. We understand that God is always available to us, and perhaps unconsciously, we actually take advantage of that fact.

Let me put it this way: How many of your real-life friends would still be your friends if you treated them as casually as you treat God? As hours become days, and days become weeks, would you expect your friends to just camp out in his or her designated spot until you found time to visit? Of course not!

One of the greatest lies in our culture is that we’ll somehow ‘find time.’ How often do you hear people use that expression? How often do you find yourself saying it — maybe not verbally but within your own private thoughts?

The reality is that we make the time to do those things that are most important to us. [Tweet That!] And if we’re really honest with ourselves, it’s hard to deny the fact that we carve out time for things that are far less important than our relationship with God — things that drain us and rob us of valuable resources and energy that are necessary to engage in a personal relationship with Him.

I often wonder how healthy we’d be if we treated our bodies with the same level of importance as we treat our spiritual selves. I know people who claim to be believers but who have acknowledged to me that they almost never attend church, rarely open their Bibles, and kneel before the Lord in prayer only when tragedy strikes or all other alternatives have been exhausted.

Does that sound like a friend to you? Continue Reading…

Slowing the pace

June 28, 2008 — 1 Comment

Full Moon Bridge at Garvan Woodland Gardens

Fortunately, we were all able to catch a much-needed break during a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas this week. It was so nice to just sit back and enjoy the larger-than-life vistas of green. . . to not have to set an alarm. . . and to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted — in the event that we wanted to do anything at all, of course.

I have been increasingly stressed in recent months due to a variety of factors. Perhaps you have too. So many things can cause stress and anxiety, among them relationship difficulties, financial worries, and workplace hostility. Getting away for a time of rest and relaxation does not make all the problems of life go away, but it can provide a much-needed change of perspective — which can go a long way toward helping those issues be a little easier to deal with.

One of the things we noticed during our time away was just the slower pace of life that people in more rural areas seem to enjoy. That’s how it was when I was growing up, and I look back on those times fondly now. I see way too many people who can’t seem to leave the cell phone off and forget about their e-mail, even when vacationing. That is a truly sad commentary on the state of our society. It’s okay to “mellow out” when you’re on vacation.

Those who know me well can attest to the fact that I have mellowed a lot in recent years. . . . even in recent months. I’m not nearly as ambitious as I once was, always chasing after things and stuff that just don’t really matter much in the long run. I’m also not nearly as concerned with what other people think about me. Like me, leave me, whatever suits your fancy. I am who I am, and I’m not likely to change a whole lot.

Hydrangeas in bloom at Garvan Woodland Gardens

On those days when I feel overstressed and underappreciated, I think I’ll just look back at our vacation pictures and remember what things really are the most important ones in life.

If you haven’t yet had a break this summer, I strongly encourage you to take one. It doesn’t have to be fancy or extravagant or expensive. Just get away and enjoy some time with God and family. You’ll be glad you did.