In the fast-paced world of the “instant,” we have been led to believe that we can and must do everything in a hurry. If we can’t do it quickly, it’s not worth doing. Anything that takes time is irritating and frustrating. We’re trying to develop our walk with God, build our marriages, raise our children, enjoy a quiet and peaceful life, and climb to the top of the corporate ladder, all in a rush. But it can’t be done, because much time and energy must be invested in each of these endeavors to be successful.
In Psalm 46:10 we read, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 23:2-3 reminds us that, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters, He restoreth my soul.” Isaiah 30:15 says, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Or, consider Isaiah 40:31: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” It was Jesus who said to His disciples in Mark 6:31, “Come ye yourselves apart … and rest a while.” Do we see what these verses are saying? Living in a rush is not the answer! In fact, it is much more of a hindrance than a help.
Mrs. Charles Cowman, in her devotional entitled Streams in the Desert, says, “Your life needs days of retirement, when it shuts the gates upon the noisy whirl of action and is alone with God.” It has been rightly said that, “quietness is not the opposite of noise, but the absence of excitement, haste, and constant confusion.” Another has written, “Learn the art of stillness. It is safety, solace, and strength.”
You see, busyness is our greatest hindrance to the enjoyment God intends for the Christian life. It’s no sin to be busy, but it is a sin to be so busy with unimportant things that they crowd out important things.
Why is busyness a curse? Because of the way it burdens us. It has a tendency to weary us and get us down. It’s like running on a treadmill. It makes us tired going nowhere. It also bewilders us. We get confused about what is really important. The less important things crowd out the most important. It also binds us. It turns us into slaves instead of servants. We become so enslaved to schedules, activities, programs and people that we can’t fulfill our priority responsibilities to the Lord and our families. Lastly, busyness is a curse because it blinds us. It gives us a distorted perspective on life. We are unable to see things the way God does.
What is the cause of busyness? Basically, we lack the discipline to say “No!” We fear making ourselves look bad or disappointing someone. (But why is it so easy to say, “No” to God or our family?) We also lack balance, allowing life to become too “heavy” in some areas while other areas are totally neglected. When we fail to properly prioritize, we get things all mixed up and out of order. And we also have an improper perspective, and confuse the unimportant with the important.
Is there a cure for busyness? Thank God there is! It requires knowing the difference between what matters and what doesn’t. That’s why it’s essential to have biblically-based right values. If we live by this world’s values everything will be out of order. We must also have right priorities, getting things in their rightful order and keeping them there. And a right perspective enables us to see things clearly. Only then can we determine the difference between what’s good, better, and best from God’s point of view. Finally, there must be right motives, being sure that what we do will count for eternity and bring glory to God.
So many people tell us that their lives are out of control with busyness, and they don’t know what to do about it. If that’s where you are, perhaps these suggestions can help you get your life back in order. Remember, rest is not a sedative for the sick, but a tonic for the strong!
By Jack & June Palmer
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org