"I am so busy that I don't have time to..."
"I do not think my life will ever slow down..."
Said one of those things in the past few days? I know that I certainly have. In fact, I hear variations of these phrases nearly every day. We use them as excuses, as explanations, and sometimes we use them as a crutch. I know this, because I am guilty of all of the above.
The truth is, we ARE too busy. Our world does not slow down. In fact, with the invention of the internet, mobile computing, mobile and smart phones, we have a very hard time of disconnecting from work, from media, social obligations, and even other people. We have a constant barrage of things that are vying for every moment of our attention, 24 hours a day.
The LIE of being a "multitasker"
Somehow, we have talked ourselves into believing that we are great multi-taskers. Friends, this is simply not a true statement. In reality, what we are doing when we "multi-task" is dividing our time and attention among several things. You may think that you are perfectly capable of watching a television show, reading a story/update on your computer, and having a conversation at the same time, but are you really doing a GOOD JOB with any of those tasks? Ask your spouse what they think... their answer might be a bit sobering. Sure, you might be able to listen to a lecture and take notes at the same time, but that is all involved in the same train of thought. Divide your attention by two, or three different things, and you become like a computer with too many programs running. Nothing WORKS the way it is supposed to. The truth is, we are not MADE to multitask.
You NEED a Sabbath
Many times in the Scripture, you see both God and Jesus talking about taking time to slow down and rest. We see in Genesis 2:2 that even God rested on the seventh day after creating the earth on the previous 6 days. God even blessed the seventh day (or Sabbath) and called it holy. Jesus often took the disciples away from the crowds to "solitary places." Why is this so important?
You must take time to LISTEN
When we are moving a break-neck speeds through life, we begin to ignore smaller details of the bigger picture. We again fool ourselves into believing that as long as the "big stuff" (our job, bills are getting paid, kids are getting good grades) is moving along, we are being "successful" in life. We continue to live in this lie until one of those "big things" breaks down and forces us to pay total attention to it. What we then find is that we have neglected the small warning signs of relationships or financial trouble, and that causes a massive failure.
We have to take time to stop and LISTEN for the voice of God. In 1 Kings 19:11-13, we see a vivid reminder of how God often chooses to speak. Elijah saw a catastrophic wind storm, and earthquake, and a fire, but God was not in those attention-grabbing events. The voice of the Lord came afterward in a "gentle whisper." Do not expect to have your most intimate moments with God in a conference, a worship service, or a rally. We must slow down, get alone... AWAY from DISTRACTIONS, and learn to quite ourselves in His presence. These times of quite must be of our own making, and they need to occur regularly. Listen as God redirects your priorities.
Learn to say NO
In order to have the kind of peace that we all long for, we have to FIGHT to keep our lives in balance. We have to learn to say NO to so many of the "good" things out there, in order to make the GREAT things (those that God has directed you towards) the things you spend your time on.
We ALL need to slow down. My prayer is that you will find a freshness in your spirit as you do so. I think you will be amazed at how much you have missed. We have to LEARN to stop and smell the roses.