A message from Sandy Cooper at the women's retreat that resounded with me, and has continued to resound in my head is the truth that busyness to God is often the equivalent of pride-fullness and wickedness.
How many times have you had the best intentions to read your Bible, but you got too busy?
How many times have you planned to spend some time in prayer, but you got too busy?
How many times did you plan to send an encouraging note to a friend, but you got too busy?
As women, we have busy lives. We are really good at filling up our time. Have you thought of it as wickedness?
Psalm 10:4 says, "In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God."
We were just calling it being too busy. God calls it prideful and wicked. Wicked!
Sandy Cooper reminded us that balancing the demands of life is not measured by the amount of things we get crossed off our to-do list, but by hearing and following God's voice.
I tend to start my day by consulting a to-do list. Here is what it looks like today:
- go to Costco and get dishwasher detergent and coffee mugs for dad
- go to Wal-Mart and buy plastic Easter eggs and candy for Easter egg hunt
- pick up birthday card for babysitter
- return phone call to friend
- send pictures of kids and a letter to Grandma
- consult calendar for days when we can host small group
- submit receipts to husband's health care plan
- book dentist appointments for everyone
- make photo board for niece's birthday
And this doesn't even include the day to day things that always have to get done: play with the kids, clean the house, make healthy meals, exercise, connect with husband, check email. The list goes on and on and on.
If I try to methodically make my way down this list, I am left with little to no time to spend with God. I often feel drained, overwhelmed and frustrated at the end of the day. That is when I am vulnerable to feeling like a total failure.
But if I start my day out with prayer and scripture, if I ask God to set the priorities of my day, things tend to go a lot smoother. I'm serious! Especially if I spend some time alone over the course of the day (in the shower, in the bathroom, even driving in the car) in reflective prayer or scripture. I may not get everything done on my list. I may not get even half of them done. I might complete things not even on the list! But if I spend time in prayer and in scripture, at the end of the day I feel more organized, more efficient and far more peaceful no matter what got completed.
I'm not saying it's easy. To accomplish this I've had to cut way back on the amount of t.v. that I watch, and the amount of time I spend on the computer and iphone (as noted in my Technology Fast post). It's a commitment. A difficult one to make some days.
As soon as I start to feel overwhelmed and super-cranky with my life, as soon as I start to feel like I can't possibly get everything done, I know I've focused on myself too much, and not enough on God. So if you are feeling tired, disorganized, dissatisfied, and overwhelmed with what's on your plate, I encourage you to carve out some time daily to spend in prayer or in scripture. Ask God to help you organize your day. It's worth a try, right!
Blog Retreat Series 1: He rewards those who earnestly seek Him