Busy Being Busy

I had a friend ask me several years ago how much he should give back to God. He was asking about tithing and I told him that 10% before taxes was the biblical model. With a slight snort of disbelief he declared that an amount like that was impossible for him. He had too many things going on, too many other bills to pay, too many “toys” in his garage (most of which he rarely ever used).

I also have friends that never seem to have a minute to spare. Most of these friends of mine have kids who are involved in every conceivable activity outside of school and home and they basically run a taxi service shuttling kids everywhere. As parents, they are involved in every school function at a leadership level and they often complain that their plates are too full (yet they continue to volunteer for everything).

Then I think about the friends that I have who always seem to have time not only for me but for everyone else. One is serving the Lord in China and, while I don’t see him but once or twice a year when he’s home, he always calls me and wants to see me and my family. He even answers my emails when I send them. Another friend is busy as an FCA coordinator. With his job he is on the road every day all over the western Piedmont, yet if I called him right now and needed to meet with him there is no doubt that within the next couple of hours we’d be face-to-face.

How busy do we let ourselves get in this life? As a father of 4 kids, I understand the pressure of not only organizing my own schedule but also that of 4 children who need my guidance. But let me in on a little “secret” that Kellie and I have: We have learned to say no. If we tried to do everything that our kids wanted to do or that we wanted to do, then I’d have maybe 15 minutes a week to be free to catch my breath. Yet we make it a priority to do our best to sit down to eat as a family once a day and to have family time and to let each other have personal quiet time away from the chaos. As hard as it is, Kellie and I are committed to controlling our schedule and not letting it control us.

In Psalm 46:10, God tells us to be still and recognize that He is God. He reminds us that He is in control and that we need to slow down – if not stop altogether – and rest in His guidance. The Lord knows how busy life can be – He did after all create us – yet He subtly reminds us that life can get too busy if we let it. Take a break. Slow down. Say no every once in awhile. And use that extra time to spend it with family and in quiet time with God.

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