There’s a saying that goes something like, “If you want something done, ask a busy person”…Implying that it’s the busy people who get things done and keep things going, compared to the ‘lazy people’.
I don’t know if you’ve heard this saying before, but I have had it said to me, and I’m pretty sure it was said with the aim of pressuring me to take on more duties and responsibilities…and while I know I’m considered by others to be a ‘doer’ and an ‘achiever’, I honestly know I need a substantial amount of ‘down time’ in each week to recharge for my health, creativity and personal relationships.
How often does the pendulum swing too far in either direction in our lives, as we aim and strive for what we desire? This can be in any area. But in regards to our time, it can be so difficult to achieve the balance we need, when we desire to ‘achieve’ a goal.
I know I’m probably not saying anything here you don’t already know…yet I also know when I read something I personally relate to on a deep level, it can really help me gain some clarity and focus in my life.
We know how we use our time comes down to our priorities…So I think we should always come back to this when we feel overwhelmed…
Now this overwhelming feeling could be at either end of the pendulum. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed with no sense of direction, or motivation to even get out of bed most days and achieve more than getting through that day. Perhaps you’re so busy trying to earn money and care for your family that you are becoming physically and emotionally ill. Perhaps you’re so busy, that when your head hits the pillow you can’t switch off. Perhaps you desire the best for your children that you become so busy serving them, you neglect yourself. Perhaps you have an addiction that you serve that consumes your time at the detriment to your well-being.
The first thing I personally must do when I feel overwhelmed in any way before I can find any balance in my life, is come back to the premise that my relationship with Jesus is, and always must be my first priority – The wonderful thing about this premise is that it applies to every Christian. It is not based on gender, occupation, skill or personal circumstances or other relationships.
Jesus needs to encompass my life. He goes before me, is with me, and is my rear guard. He is with me in everything and must come before all things, for it is only in Him that we ‘live and move and have our being’ Acts 17:28 . Without Him everything else is just futile busy-ness that amounts to nothing at the end of the day. Without Jesus in prime position of my life I am leading myself which will result in no true Kingdom productivity, no matter how ‘good’ my intentions are, for I am guilty of idolatry if something else has my heart.
When I read the gospel accounts of Jesus’ ministry life I know just how extremely busy Jesus was, yet I also read of His priority to connect with The Father, alone each day for their relationship, to recharge and seek clarity and direction – We must not forget that Jesus who was and is fully God, totally became a human being and faced all that we do, and even more!
Yet when I also read the gospels, I take comfort when I read the stern words Jesus sometimes spoke to his disciples, and of His anger in the temple over their abuses, as I know its human to feel challenging raw emotions like anger, frustrations, tiredness and pain. I know if Jesus experienced these challenges yet never sinned, I can ask Him to help me with mine. I know NOT to expect a perfectly balanced life, even if my spiritual life and relationship with Jesus is in check, as challenges come to us all – But I know I will be so much stronger when I'm walking closely with Jesus.
When reading the gospels I am comforted and enabled to not feel ‘false’ guilt when I say no to some requests and put my relationship with Jesus first. For I have truly found, when I put Jesus first I have His peace, and I have more energy and love for others. With Jesus first I have actually found working less harder than before, as He always provides abundantly what I need to prosper…like creative ideas, helping hands and open doors…Let me be clear here, I don’t mean abundant money.
Busy-ness is not godliness, but neither is laziness and apathy.
No amount of busy-ness, or money gifted will ever proclaim the gospel of a restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ to other people, including our children. The only proclamation that will ring loud and true, is a genuinely humble and dedicated life.
If we feel overwhelmed, let’s remember the goodness of the Lord, and of how His mercies are new every morning (Lam 2:22-23)…So that we can repent of anything that has taken His rightful place to receive His peace, regardless of our circumstances. Then we can re-prioritise and begin afresh to love and serve Him and others, in work that will bear much fruit until He returns.
Let me leave you with Casting Crown, Here's my heart Lord!