Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tis the Season to be Busy

As I watched a White-breasted Nuthatch and a Downy Woodpecker flying back and forth, incessantly pecking away on a suet cake this morning, it made me think about how often we fly around incessantly pecking away at all the distractions life throws our way, rarely stopping for a moment, tossed back and forth from one activity to the next. Busyness seems to have taken over our lives; we live with it, embrace it, and at times boast about it. Yet, I believe it is one of the most powerful weapons Satan uses against Christians. It’s so common today that often we aren’t even aware of its presence. It is a problem year round, but even more so as the Christmas season approaches.

The trend towards excessive busyness seems to have reached epidemic proportions in the lives of people today, and Christians are not exempt from it. Ask anybody how they are and the answer is usually the same, “Busy!” Sadly, Christians look like the rest of the world in this regard. We are stressed out, frazzled, overextended, anxious, running in circles, rushing about, short tempered, exhausted, and running on empty. Running on fumes, we fall into bed at the end of the day only to jump back up the next morning and start the vicious cycle all over again. I once heard a speaker say that BUSY stands for “burdened under Satan’s yoke.” I would have to agree!

I’m currently doing a Beth Moore Bible study called, Breaking Free. In the one chapter she talks about “the captivity of activity” and how perpetual activity leads to perpetual exhaustion. I often see this in my life and in the lives of those around me. I believe Satan uses busyness to keep Christians ineffective in their spiritual walk. It is so common and so widely accepted that it’s seldom even thought about. Since Satan works subtly and behind the scenes, we fail to notice him. If he can keep us busy and distracted by all the things going on around us, he can render us unproductive and ineffective as believers in Christ. Busy lives lead to lives void of prayer and scripture reading. Lives void of prayer and scripture reading leads to Christians with shallow faith.

When asked where our relationship with God is in our lives, most of us would proclaim, “God is first in my life!” However, when asked to share our busy schedules, we would find God in a different place. A pastor once said that our true priorities are revealed by looking at our daily schedules. The things that fill our days speak volumes about what is truly number one in our hearts. We always seem to make time for the things that are important to us. We can’t miss our favorite TV program, but we can miss our quiet time with God. We don’t have time to pray, but we can answer our cell phones and send text messages throughout the day. We don’t have time to work on a Bible study lesson, but we have time to go shopping or to surf the internet. We say we are simply too busy for God, but yet we always seem to find time for TV, cell phones, and the internet.

When was the last time you really and truly sat at His feet and listened for His voice? Being still before God and making time to sit at His feet is what’s really important. In light of eternity, it won’t matter how many TV programs we watched or how often we sent a text message or answered our cell phones. It won’t matter how much time we spent online looking things up. What will matter is our relationship with our Heavenly Father and those things that have eternal value.

This Christmas season, I pray we will keep our priorities in line amidst the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, baking cookies, and wrapping presents. The abundant life Jesus came to give us is waiting. We need to slow down, be still, and seek first His kingdom rather than the distractions the world has to offer. We won’t be disappointed, because Jesus is the sweetest gift of all!

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