November 19, 2012
"But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, 'You are my God!' My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly." Psalm 31:14-15 (NLT)
"Mom, quick...look at that lady!" My fourteen-year-old son shouted as we were headed down the interstate on an errand-running Thursday afternoon. "She should not be doing that," he added for emphasis.
I glanced over at the car next to us, expecting to see someone without her hands at the ten and two o'clock positions like my by-the-rulebook-boy does when training behind the wheel. Instead, I nearly ran off the road while gawking at what my Driver's Ed patrolman had spotted.
Next to us was a woman cradling her cell phone on her right shoulder; holding an open fast-food salad container in her left hand; ripping open a salad dressing packet with her teeth and her right hand...all while steering her car with her knees!
What in the world!? My boys and I thought surely, if she kept up this multi-tasking method of driving, she was going to cause a crash.
"I would NEVER attempt to do all of that when I drive," I smugly thought to myself. "Entirely too dangerous and probably against the law." Yep, when it comes to being a safe-driving expert, the apple doesn't fall far from the "Honey-you-didn't-use-your-blinker-back-there" maternal tree.
It wasn't until later that night it hit me. Yes, I may not dangerously multi-task when driving, thereby risking collision. But in my day-to-day life? In my schedule? In my "sure-I-can-take-on-one-more-responsibility-so-everyone-will-like-me" way? I sometimes dangerously multi-task to the point I am headed for a crash.
Taking on too many responsibilities, no matter how "good" they may be, can often render us ineffective for service to God. Yet, He knows our limits. He understands are capacities. He is willing, if we will ask Him, to help us navigate the busyness and activity that often trips us up.
On one of my so-busy-I-couldn't-breathe days, I read today's key verse. While I'm sure the author David was talking about actual physical enemies — men who could chase, catch and ultimately hurt you — I realized that day my enemy was busyness. Too many activities and responsibilities outside my four walls were about to do me in. They chased me, cornered me and worst of all, were about to go in for the kill.
Thankfully, God can rescue us from the barren life of busyness. He invites us to hold our too-full plates up to Him, allowing Him to scrape off all the activities and responsibilities. Then, place back on our plates only the items HE longs for us to possess.
When this happens, we can create space in our calendar to retreat, places of sweet respite in our days where we connect with God. Times when we slow down and sit still to listen and learn from the Creator of time itself.
So, how about it friend? Let's both start scraping before we crash and burn!
Dear Lord, forgive me for allowing busyness to overtake my life, crowding out others and worst of all You. Help me as I purpose to place only those items on my plate that You long for me to have. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
The Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized by Karen Ehman
I Used to Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer
List on paper all the commitments you have said yes to outside your job or home responsibilities. Catalog approximately how much time you devote to them each week. Pray about what you discover.
What activities and responsibilities have I said "Yes" to that I know in my heart I shouldn't have?
How can I thin out my optional tasks and duties, freeing up more time for the places where God wants me to focus my efforts?
Matthew 6:33-34, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (ESV)
Genesis 2:2, "And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done." (ESV)
© 2011 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 19 November 2012.