How have you been? I’m good. Been busy. Isn’t that the most typical answer you’ve ever heard? We are all guilty of giving that response.
Do you remember a time you weren’t busy? Even when we were young we always thought we were busy (and we were wrong). As we get older our lives just gets full of things to be busy with. Busy with work, busy with school, busy with kids, busy with family, you name it. Our time is precious and very occupied.
I’m really good at being busy. Honestly, in the past I would have prided myself in being busy because it meant I was getting things done. But was I really?
This past week I found myself sick in bed and I received a text from my sweet friend Pastor Kristen. She asked me how I was doing, and I’m pretty sure my text expressed that I was not enjoying being stuck in bed, stuck at home and I had things to do. She responded with this, “Not to be super spiritual, but maybe ask the Lord if there is anything he wants to tell you or you learn in this season?”
It caught me off guard for a moment, but it’s only because I knew she was right. I just wanted a pity party for myself for being frustrated (side note get yourself a friend who will ask you hard questions, your soul will be glad you did). Either way my heart was intrigued by the question.
So, I asked God what does He want me to learn in this season. The answer didn’t come right away, but over the next few days, God laid it right out for me. I like to be busy because it make me feel like I have control. I am getting things done in the natural sure, but let’s be real, the things that are heavy on my heart can’t be done in my own natural power. I need God. I need Him today more desperately than I ever have, but how do I get more of Him in all my busyness? Stop being busy and be still. Sounds easy enough right? Have you ever asked a toddler to “Be still”? I found myself telling my daughter, “Why is it so hard for you to be still?” and just like that God reminded me of my own struggle.
Being still is hard for me because it takes discipline, it takes me quieting my mind and relinquishing control. Stillness is an act of trust because I’m telling myself that I don’t have the answers, and I’m waiting on God to show up. My anxious spirit has to find peace when I’m still, but oh what God can do in a moment of being still rather than hours of me being busy.
Psalm 62:5 says it so beautifully, “For God alone my soul waits in silence and quietly submits to Him, For my hope is from Him.”
Being still is an act of submission. It’s telling God, you have complete control and I trust you.
Lamentations 3:24 says it like this, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, for the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
When you stay constantly busy, your mind is clouded. It becomes difficult to hear God. You begin to feel weary and frustrated. When you can learn to pause from the busyness, sit, be still and quiet the inner voices, you will began to align yourself to what the Word of God says. Your faith is renewed and you teach yourself to hear God’s voice and to trust Him wholeheartedly.
Busyness isn’t necessarily all bad. We can be busy doing a lot of great things, but actively finding stillness takes concentrated work. It’s pausing the busyness for a renewal of mind, spirit, soul and body.
One last thing that the lie of busyness does is it often robs us of the opportunity to be used by God. If my first response is to explain how busy I am or all that I have to do, someone just might be needing a friend, a word of encouragement, or a need to be met, but they are too hesitant to ask for help because of fear of being a burden to this “really busy” person. Ultimately, we lose out on a chance to be a blessing.
Here are a few ideas for you and for me:
- Get up early. Hardest but most effective time to find stillness.
- Make an appointment with God during the day that nothing can interrupt. Sit in the car before you enter the house, give your kids an iPad and a snack and walk away. Put your phone far away for less distraction.
- Have someone hold you accountable. This is vulnerable, but necessary so you don’t fall back into the same habit.
Do I now have less things to do and living a slower life? Nope. Nothing’s changed only my perspective of my busy life and my desire to discipline myself to take time to be still.
Before, we get into the “busiest time of the year” let’s challenge ourselves to be less busy and be more still. I promise God can get things done for you without your help. He just wants us to seek Him in the stillness and allow Him to give us the endurance to do what He has called us to do.