What To Do When Life Gets Busy . . .

It is an old and ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.
— Rollo May

The way of God is counterintuitive. When life speeds up he says, "slow down."

Slowing down is difficult.

Increased responsibilities, impending deadlines, busy schedules, necessary meetings, demanding customers . . . these things push us along. "Hurry, hurry, hurry!" they hiss.

God offers me the better way.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
— Psalm 46:1-3, 10 ESV

Stillness is God's answer to speed. But what does it look like to "be still"?

It looks like Jesus.

Mark, the gospel of action, shows us what Jesus does when life gets busy. Jesus commences his public ministry with his baptism and then Spirit turns on the activity:

  • 40 days of wilderness temptation.
  • Launching his gospel message.
  • Calling the first disciples.
  • Healing a demon-possessed man.
  • Healing Simon's mother-in-law.

The evening he healed Simon's mom, the entire town showed up at his door with their sick and oppressed. Picture that.

Busy, busy, busy. Hurry, hurry, hurry!  What does Jesus do next?

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.
— Mark 1:35 ESV

Silence . . . solitude . . . talking with God . . . strength.

This is not a new lesson, but it is a lesson that is hard to practice. When life gets busy, being still flies in the face of reason. These last few weeks (Shannan might say "months"), have been busy for us. The day begins and everything inside of me is yelling, "You've got a lot on your plate. You've got to get going. Hurry."

I need to reject that voice. Why? Because when I ignore the cries to hurry, I become a little more whole.

I shared this message a few years back. When I did, Anita offered this comment:

This posting recalls to mind businessman William Longstaff and his poem "Take Time to be Holy" that was re-purposed into a song.  Take time, meaning make time, to be quiet with Jesus . . . often. When I plan it into my day I am affirmed through a deepened friendship.  When I am remiss in our meetings I note I am a Swiss cheese version of the Godchild I wish I could be. 

Thanks Anita! I needed that.

God graciously sustains us in our hurry, but there is a gift of wholeness that comes with slowing down and enjoying a deepened friendship with him.

Today, linger a little longer with the Lord.