“List-maker, box-checker, line-thrower” -- that’s me. It’s true. Certainly, part of it is out of necessity. Logistically running a large household gets hectic and organizational lists are helpful. However, probably the more predominate truth is that I just feel better about myself when I can take my list, check a box or make a big fat line through something that “must be done.” Ahhh -- the sweet sense of accomplishment.
Did I just say, “ … just because it makes me feel better about myself when I … ?" Yes, indeed I did and that what is bothering me today. I can be addicted to accomplishment – even as small as cleaning the window outside my kitchen sink.
Somehow, I get productive busyness and my value confused. I find myself listing off to any willing listener (usually my husband) all that I need to do or have done in the day. I strive to take time to be still, but I find myself more satisfied with being busy. Ugh. I hate the way that sounds. Can you relate?
Without warning, believing that we are busy, striving to be busy, and proving that we are busy morphs in to our proving ourselves, our value and our importance. We scramble and skitter all over the place, making sure we are serving here, cleaning there, learning this and doing that. Some of it is necessary, but let’s face it -- some of it is fluff, and although it appears harmlessly soft and squishy, it muffles out the voice of God calling us to do what He calls us to do – or more importantly, what He calls us to be.
The thing is, slowing down and being still are a struggle for me. As soon as I try or take a chance and tell someone, I hear this faint voice say, “Must be nice to have some time to yourself – wish I did. Isn’t there something you should be doing?”
Now, I’m not talking about being lazy or sitting on our back-sides, I’m talking about taking time with the Lord and resting in His presence. Maybe it’s for hours – maybe it’s for days – maybe even weeks. Imagine that.
Time spent in quietness and solitude is essential. Jesus did it. He wants us to do it, too. We don’t need to defend it, and in fact, by sharing it (without shame – yes, pick up that chin and do not mumble under your breath, “I took some time for myself and the Lord today”) we may be encouraging others to do the same.
I just want you to know that I want to hear about your empty list. Go ahead -- share it with me! I won’t say to you, with cynical sarcasm “It must be nice.” Rather, I’ll say to you, “Cool! This IS great!”
Tell me that you sat still today and listened to the Lord, that you sat in His presence and allowed His love to permeate every cell of your being. Tell me that you said “no” to a request to do something in order to the most important thing – be with Him. Share with me how you set your pen and pad down, and picked up His peace. I’ll rejoice with you, and you’ll encourage me.
I’m going to try and “practice what I preach.” Please pray for me. May I pray for you?
There are so many things pulling at us. You know each and every one of them. You know which things are important and which things can wait. You even know which things we can delegate! Help us to practice quietness – in body, mind and spirit. Help us to not be so busy that we miss You. When we choose You, help us not to feel guilty about not getting things done. Help us to order our days, not filling it with things so that we look important to others or feel important to ourselves but help us to know that our only importance comes from You because of You. Amen.