Let us not be so busy doing for God we can’t be with God!
Before I move on this month I have one more area that I want to share with you about planning for the New Year.
Years ago I was involved in a lot more than I am now. Those of you who know me probably find that hard to believe. I am involved in a lot of areas right now. The thing of it is most of those things were not things God wanted me to do, but what Becky thought she needed to be doing. The proper saying for me probably was, “don’t be so busy doing you can’t be with God.”
My core jobs were being a wife, mother and daughter. As a wife I knew my responsibility was to my husband. As a mother to three daughters I did as much as humanly possible to make sure they were well taken care of, got the attention they needed and attended as many activities as possible with them. As a daughter my responsibility was to help my dad be a caregiver for my mom and then later on a caregiver to him.
On top of that I had gone back to school to receive an Associate’s Degree while the kids were in school. Later I became a church secretary in a small church; which meant I did pretty much everything the Pastors did not do. I also became the city wide Ministerial Association secretary who dealt with all the other churches in our town and their Pastors. Along with that I belonged to a Philanthropic Sorority. We were an active bunch meeting twice a month. We were also involved in city functions. I, of course took on many different offices during the time I was active. I belonged and led Bible Studies. I went on Mission trips. I belonged to the United Methodist Women and held some of their offices. I taught Bible School. I also taught a Junior High Class for a while also. I know you are getting tired just reading all of the things I did. That is why my calendar was my life. I needed my calendar to keep my life straight I thought I was super woman and I could accomplish much. I probably did accomplish much. How well did I do those things? Some things I think I did well, while others (like being a wife) I didn’t do so well. I am so not bragging on these things. I am not telling you all I was involved in so you will look at me and think how great I was. Great I was not.
The more I grew in Christ the restless I became. Something was not right. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Here I was working and doing all these things, yet, I was not happy. By the time night came I would put the girls in bed, check on dad and mom one more time fall into bed just so the next day I could get up and start all over. I was finding less time for my husband so I could make more time for things that I thought were far more important. I was finding less time to do Bible Studying and praying so I could do more things for God.
Anytime anyone needed anything they’d come around and ask me if I would help out, do it, or take it on. I would often say yes without consulting God on the matter. It wasn’t that I believed I needed to be doing these things to be saved or that I needed to be doing these things to impress God. I just did these things because I couldn’t say no. I never learned the art of saying no, or saying let me pray about it first. I just did because people asked me.
As I mentioned in my last devotion I was so busy I didn’t have much time for God or my husband. When I got back home from a trip we had taken to Florida I began to look at my calendar. How many of those things I did were sanctioned by God? Was I so busy if God had something He wanted me to do could I do it? Who would I have to let down in order to do those things God was calling me to do?
I was tired physically and emotionally. Something had to change. God began to deal with me. God began to show me I was so busy doing I couldn’t be with Him. There is a difference between doing for God and being with God. Doing for God is doing all those things you think God has called you to. Being with God is finding the time to sit everyday and be in prayer with Him, reading His word and listening to Him. Being with God is what makes our faith grow stronger, being with God is being still and learning who God is and what He wants for you and how to live your life through Him.
In Luke 10:38-42 we find Martha was so busy; so distracted she couldn’t find time to be with God. That was so me. I was so distracted doing those things that I thought God wanted me to do I couldn’t find time to be with Him.
I finally got it. I finished projects; I did what was required of me and then I took a break. I learned to say no. I learned to say, “Let me pray about it first.” For several years now I can honestly say I pray about everything I take on. Oh, like most I am still human and I fall into the trap of taking on too much because I don’t listen carefully enough or I don’t listen clearly to all He says to me, but I am so much better than I was.
There are still times I have the temptation to say yes before praying. There are still times I want to do things just because I want to, but then I remember that I was so busy doing those things Becky wanted to do that I couldn’t really enjoy my life.
I am learning it’s more about being a Mary than a Martha. It’s more about being with God. I am finding out when I spend time with God I am refreshed, reenergized and my faith is stronger to handle those things that come along.
Are you like I was so busy doing you can’t find time to be with God? If so, I suggest you take a look at your calendar, take a look at those things you’ve said yes to and ask yourself how do those things fit in with God’s plan for your life? Learn to say no, learn to pray before you say yes and learn to let God be your event planner.
Dear God thank you for teaching me it’s all about being with you and following your ways. Thank you for teaching me all things that come my way are not necessary things you have sent my way. Help me to say no when it is appropriate and yes when it is from you. Thank you for those times I can sit and just be with you. How, I cherish those times. Direct my paths O Lord as I seek to do your will. Amen