I easily become overloaded, overburdened, and go overboard with busyness. I've often thought to myself that life would be perfect if bad times had fast forward buttons and good times had pause buttons. I'd also like to clone myself to get more done and never have to sit back and wait for anything. But is that really what I want?
Wait is a tough word to deal with in today's busy world. Being too busy can distract us from the really important things in our lives—people. Do I really like being so busy that I'm worn out by noon? No. I know deep within my heart that being overloaded is a way for the enemy to distract me from those most precious to me. If I'm really honest, I would have to admit I learn more during those calm and peaceful times when my heart, soul, and mind all unite to seek God's will than I do when I'm stretching my mind to hold more and more while I'm falling apart. One thing I have to remember on a daily basis is that wait is not an ugly word and "busy" is not a spiritual gift. After all, God says in Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God." Isn't being still waiting? When you have a personality like mine, it's hard to be still, but it is only during those moments alone with God that I can truly feel a peace that surpasses all understanding. Busy is the enemy of peace. Busy steals precious time. Busy robs my blessings.
Waiting Time Is Never Wasting Time
In this fast paced, jungle-like world we build for ourselves, we rarely have "waiting" time anymore. We expect instant gratification and instant results—at lightening fast speed! We become so engrossed in paperwork that we delete all the "people" work in our lives. We become so busy that we can't remember the last time we took a full day off or sat at the dinner table with the family.
Life can bring about big storms and the waves hit hard if we don't slow down. Busy can beat upon us like a drum. When those closest to us have stopped asking for our time, it's because they know we are too busy for them. That's crushing to the heart. We all need "waiting" time, whether we think we do or not. Waiting time is when we say adamantly, "It can wait!" and we step back and do what is really important.
I discovered this after I found myself checking my appointment book to see if I could squeeze in lunch with my 18-year-old daughter. I knew then that I had to back up and take a good look at my priorities. The world would momentarily stop if something ever happened to her, so why can't I stop when she wants me to have lunch? It's amazing how busy I allow myself to be. To actually clear my schedule for a day or two feels impossible. I feel as if everything would fall apart if I said, "No, I'm sorry. I can't do that task," or if I refuse to answer my phone. God puts his healing hand under my chin and assures me of one thing—he will never leave me and he wants me to trust him as he helps me clear my overloaded plate to a manageable amount.
The storm that rages inside me is shouting, "Slow Down!" and demands my attention. But if I heed that call, the Creator of peace will shower me with a peace that surpasses all understanding if I just trust him. The fragrance of grace and mercy will overflow in me when I come to peace with being less busy. Breaking old patterns is hard, but God reminds me that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Morning by Morning New Mercies I See
I began to sing the hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" as I awoke each day. I asked the Lord to help me give up a life of unbridled busyness and to show me how to achieve balance between worshiping God, loving my family, and enjoying my work. Somehow during the course of my life, I mixed those up and put work at the beginning. From this day forward, busy was not going to win out any more. Busy was not going to push me around till I was worn out from the struggle. I stood up tall, held my shoulders back, and smiled. I began to seize the opportunity to truly listen to God's plan for my life. Someone once told me peace smells like cupcakes. Step back and welcome that smell. Let your house begin to take on the odor of a bakery and watch how you begin to see and taste that the Lord is good once you grow still and begin to slow down.