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I'm too busy for God! Does God really want me to give up things to follow him?
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I Don't Have Time for God

I'm too busy for God! I know that sounds bad, but it's true. I take AP classes and am involved in many extracurricular activities. These things are important to me, and they're important to my future. Does God really want me to give these things up to follow him?

I don't think God is asking a bright, enthusiastic person like yourself to quit all activities and live like a hermit. However, your first sentence, "I'm too busy for God!" does say a lot about your time commitments and priorities.

You're correct to say that things like AP classes are important to your future; when it comes time to apply to college, you'll have a good chance of being accepted at a number of fine schools. You've clearly invested a great deal of time and energy in preparing for your future, and I hope it pays off. But here's my question to you: Isn't your relationship with God also important to you and your future?

Busy people have always needed to think about their priorities. Jesus asked people to do just that with this strong and powerful statement: "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33). In other words, Jesus is asking us to put God first and then watch as everything else falls into place. Putting God first doesn't necessarily mean giving up all your extracurricular activities and AP classes. But it does mean you need to re-prioritize your life, keeping your relationship with Christ No. 1.

Of course, you may find you just can't make God your top priority and still be heavily involved in all these other things. If that's the case, then I think it's time for you to pare down your involvement in extracurriculars. I'm not saying you have to drop everything, but you may need to end one or two of your commitments. To do that, make a list of everything you're involved in. Then, look at the list and rank the activities by how much you enjoy them and how well they're preparing you for the future. You might find that there are a few things you can get rid of without cutting back on your favorite activities.

You might also be surprised to know that most colleges are less impressed with the number of extracurricular activities than they are with your level of involvement in those activities. In other words, digging deep into the activities you really love is better than spreading yourself thin across every club, team and group you can find. Knowing this could help you decide which extracurriculars you really want to stick with and which ones you're involved in half-heartedly.

I'm not sure God wants you to give up some things for him as much as he wants you to give those things to him. The apostle Paul offers busy people some wise and challenging words about this subject: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Colossians 3:17). There is nothing more exciting than people putting God first in their lives and using all their talents for him. That's why I hope you use your God-given abilities to the glory of God.

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