Someone asked me that question recently ... "Are you too busy?" I've been thinking about that as I missed my first day writing a blog in more than a year, and then missed another! Am I too busy? Am I trying to do too many things? What about you? It made me ask another question: "What does it mean to be too busy?" How would you determine if you were too busy? Some people think they're too busy if they have to go to work and then add anything else to their schedule. Other people are constantly trying to find more time to do more things for more people but would never say they are "too busy." What makes the difference?
Jesus was certainly busy as the crowds gathered around Him wherever He went and He taught His disciples and the crowds, debated with the Pharisees and healed the sick, cast out demons and a host of other things. But He wasn't TOO busy because He still had time to go to a solitary place to pray (Mark 1:35). And He often went to such places to pray: "The news about Him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:15-16).
One of the ways you know you are too busy is if you don't have time (or take time) to pray. There are just so many hours in the day and so many days in the week. If you don't have time to spend in prayer with your Father in heaven, you are too busy. God would not ever intend for any of His children to be so busy that they do not have time for the most important relationship in their lives ... our relationship with HIM! And speaking of relationships, you know you are too busy if you don't have time for your family. Jesus said that God's greatest commandment is to love the LORD our God with all our heart soul, mind and strength, and then to love our neighbor as ourselves (Deuteronomy 6:1-5; Matthew 22:37-40). Those in your family are your closest "neighbors." Loving God and loving others takes TIME! Relationships take time ... it's what life is all about!!
I've learned to say, "No," to some good things in recent years in order to say, "Yes" to God and to those closest to me. I'm still learning to do that more frequently. God, family and Church need to be at the top of your priority list. Prayer is a lifeline for those who know our Father in heaven, and along with prayer, reading and studying God's Word and meditating on His truth is essential to a life that pleases Him and that brings glory to His Name. Through prayer and the reading and studying of His Word the Spirit strengthens your faith and equips you to become mature. Remember, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (II Timothy 3:16-17).
Knowing what God's Word says and having the time to put in into practice requires TIME! The biblical illiteracy of so many in the visible church and the pressure of life that squeezes out time for prayer is leaving people vulnerable to stress and anxiety and depression because they don't have the ammunition to fight the enemy!! This is not a new problem. The writer of Hebrews laments, "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's Word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! ... Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5:11-12,14).
As much as we like to eat, it requires some effort. And eating well, requires more effort. Fast foods have proven unhealthy for millions. Trying to feed your spirit in the same way leads to disaster. Spiritual growth takes TIME!! Are you too busy? Examine your life as you begin this new year and see where you need to eliminate the things that are preventing you from experiencing the life Jesus came to give those who are His disciples. Life is too precious and goes by too fast to miss the joy God offers to those who seek Him!
After writing a blog every day for a year as we read through the Bible together, I said I would be writing something MOST days. If you miss me for a day or two ... or perhaps even for a week! Know that I'll be spending time praying, reading, studying, writing, talking with people and loving people ... and go and do likewise.