Pause for a moment and reflect upon these challenging words from Mike Yaconeli from his brilliant book, Messy Spirituality…
“We are living life at a dizzying speed, and God is nowhere to be found. We’re not rejecting God: we just don’t have time for him. We’ve lost him in the blurred landscape as we rush by on our way to church. We don’t struggle with the Bible, but with the clock. It’s not that we’re too decadent, we’re too busy. We don’t feel guilty because of sin, but because we have no time for our spouse, our children or our God. It’s not sinning too much that’s killing our souls, it’s our schedule that’s annihilating us. Most of us don’t come home at night staggering drunk. Instead, we come home staggering tired, worn out, exhausted and drained because we live too fast.”
Are you too busy?
From time to time, people say to me “Matt, you must be so busy leading a local church and a national organisation!” But guess what? In my experience, everyone is busy. Most people aren’t twiddling their thumbs each day. No! The day rushes by from the moment our heads lift from the pillow, to the moment we hit the pillow again hours later. Life is full. No wonder author Annie Dill once wrote, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”
So for me there are two challenges in this area that I have to regularly contend with…
Firstly, is my life full of the ‘right stuff’? Are my priorities right? Does my diary reflect the things that are important to God? Am I busy about the Lord’s work or am I driven by my own agenda – or the agenda of others? Who is calling the shots? Remember that the only thing you can take to Heaven with you is people. Does your diary reflect that reality? If not, make some changes. The problem may not be that you’re ‘busy’ – but perhaps you are ‘busy’ on the wrong things.
Secondly, is my busyness resulting in a life of stress and hurry? Remember, Jesus never ran anywhere. He walked. He stopped. He paused. Jesus was never in a hurry. He was busy about His Father’s work but we don’t ever see Jesus getting stressed by an endless to do list. We don’t ever hear Him say “Father, do you seriously think I can achieve all this in just three years?”
Author Eugene Peterson challenges unhealthy, hurry-driven busyness by telling us that we are often busy for reasons of vanity or laziness. Vanity, because the busier we are the more important we feel. Laziness, because we’ve not taken time to ensure we’ve got our priorities right.
It’s time to fix this! There are eternities at stake – including your own. Remember, only what you do for Christ will last forever. So… pause… take a deep breath… look at your life… look at your diary… look at your work load… look at your commitments… look at what’s important… look at what lasts forever. And listen to the words of Jesus…
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30