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I don’t think there is a more powerful force that fights against my health that those of tired & busy. Tired and busy rob me of my determination. They chip away at my endurance. They sabotage my consistency. Many times I have begun down a life giving path that gets completely derailed by tired & busy.
If you know me personally, or if we had 5 minutes to chat you would very quickly assess that I am the type of person who is always busy. I am a first born over achiever, born on the go and will probably die on the go. Over the years I have analyzed this to death and I’ll tell you what my issue is NOT. Many, many times when people chronically over schedule and live in a damaging state of tired & busy it is because they are unable to say “NO” to others. They may struggle setting healthy boundaries with family and friends by saying no, declining requests that are made of their time and therefore run themselves thin. This however is not normally my issue, in fact I would venture to guess I say “NO” to others far more often then I say yes.
However my problem is just as difficult and complex. It is that I don’t say “NO” to myself. UGH!! Does anyone else fall into this category? I believe it is the mission of my life to find balance within myself and not fall into the trap of tired & busy. I get these awesome ideas or see important ministry needs and want to meet them. All of it sounds good, until it is not good. Then I’m too tired & busy to follow the good God sets before me. For example I believe my first calling in life is to love and serve my husband but too many times to count he gets my leftovers. What is even worse? Usually the very first thing that gets dumped off my “to do” list when I am tired & busy is SELF CARE. You know, the healthy home cooked meals that take time to plan & prepare, the healthy life giving workouts, and even hours of sleep! Y’all it is not good!
I was deeply convicted by this exert that was cited in my daily devotional and had to share it with you.
“I am busy because I am vain. I want to appear important. Significant. What better way than to be busy? The incredible hours, the crowded schedule, and the heavy demands on my time are proof to myself-and to all who will notice-that I am important. If I go into a doctor’s office and find there’s no one waiting, and see through a half-open door the doctor reading a book, I wonder if he’s any good. A good doctor will have people lined up waiting to see him; a good doctor will not have time to read a book, even if it’s a very good book. Although I grumble about waiting my turn in a busy doctor’s office, I am also impressed with his importance.
Such experiences affect me. I live in a society in which crowded schedules and harassed conditions are evidence of importance. I want to be important, so I develop a crowded schedule and harassed conditions. When others notice, they acknowledge my significance and my vanity is fed. The busier I am, the more important I am.” (Eugene H. Peterson, The Unbusy Pastor, Christianity Today, 1981)
Am I striving for significance in my constant state of busy? Is my busyness birthed in vanity and self-importance? Wow. Lord forgive me!
I have loved this quote for years, “Stop the glorification of busy.” Isn’t that SO true? We wave around busy like it’s a badge of honor when it is the very thing that keeps us from God’s best for our lives. Eugene Peterson got it right when he said “I want to be important, so I develop a crowded schedule and harassed conditions.” If that is the case, who or what is determining my importance and value?
At the #ifgathering2018 women’s conference this weekend we explored some deep questions and the Lord again prompted my heart: What holds you back from stepping into obedience? All I could think of is tired & busy. I get tired because I am too busy and it’s a vicious cycle that never seems to end unless God lays me out flat like He did a few years ago when I got sick. I want to reach my goals in my timing not HIS. I want to see our ministry and my business growing and thriving BUT good fruit can never come out of tired & busy. I can see how tired & busy limit me from developing deep connections with friends and family. They limit me from being truly present in my life. They limit from being in the center of God’s will.
I believe that one of the very first steps toward change is self-awareness. When the Holy Spirit gently began to address this issue in my life I pressed in, rather than running away. I acknowledged my sin toward Him and toward myself and have been welcoming His direction. Through self-awareness and by the power of the Lord I have been slowly letting things go undone for the sake of rest, Sabbath, and communion with Him. One of the most profoundly impacting actions the Lord led me to was participation in 40 days of prayer & fasting. During this time turned off the TV and movies and met with God. I saw God move deeply in my life in ways that were directly connected to the fast. The noise was silences and His voice was loud and clear.
I want to end with one final thought a friend shared with me, “Something is going to rule over you, and those who are truly free have selected the best master. Freedom is not found in independence but through correct dependence. Do you know what the master of your heart is today?” (Perfectly out of Control, Join the Journey)
Are you tired & busy? Is busy ruling over you? I want to challenge & encourage you today friends to slow down, stop the glorification of busy, embrace stillness and silence, and listen as God speaks. If we are too tired & busy for Jesus, for self care, for our spouses, and for our family…we are too busy and need to seek God for transformation. Let’s journey toward balance together friend and cheer each other on!