Life can become too busy without us seeing it coming.
Being too busy sneaks into our lives through several back doors. We feel so obligated. We must accomplish. We must accomplish more. We want stuff. We want more. We want bigger and better.
Sometimes, being too busy happens because we want to get out of whatever hole we feel we are in. Instead of climbing out, the hamster wheel keeps going around.
Do you long for more “down” time? Time that is totally “in the moment” without guilt that you “should” be doing something “more productive”? Do you wish you have more peace in your life?
Seasons of Devotion is a call to stop being so busy, take definite steps to find true rest in the Lord, and to enjoy life. That lifestyle can be different for different people, but the desire for change is the same. So, how do you STOP being so busy? It helps to break it down into several steps.
Give “Being Too Busy” a Definition
Being too busy can be described as “hectic”. That word helps define “being too busy” as the alarm that something is wrong. And if this sense of “something’s wrong” is stirring in your heart, it may be that being too busy is driven by an unhealthy hidden felt need. The hectic lifestyle could have grown to a great sense of overwhelm when you see the whole picture of your life.
Reasons why our life gets so hectic.
Being too busy happens for lots of surface reasons but first, let’s take an honest look at some reasons under the surface that will show why we find ourselves living a hectic life.
Possibility 1: Lack of Trust
Consider this: over-working may be evidence that there is a lack of trusting God to adequately provide your needs.
You weren’t meant to have to work “hectically” in order to be a responsible, hard-working citizen. Genuine hard work is good according to Scripture, God’s words to us. It’s healthy for our sense of well-being and self-worth. We are to provide for our family as God provides the work. Ultimately, the provision is from God. So, working hard is taking responsibility before God as part of our calling to serve him with our whole being.
How does scripture define the best balance for work? Let’s take a look:
Ecc. 9:10 NLT Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
Col. 3:23 NLT Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
If you read these verses in context, it’s a warning against being lazy or not doing your work as well as you are able. It’s not an encouragement to work to the point of being hectic. Is there a good balance in your work life?
Possibility 2: Discontentment
If you find that work has taken over too much of your life, try evaluating why. It may have a root cause of discontent. It’s easy to want more than what God provides, especially in a society where the focus is on living in luxury compared to the rest of the world. It’s easy to want God to provide more than his best plan is, so you work hectically to get more.
Discontentment seems to be a harsh word but it definitely something to consider. Here’s what the Bible says about being discontent:
I Timothy 6:8-10 6. Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. 7 After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. 8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. (NLT)
It may be hard to think that you could have an unhealthy craving for more money. But, it is something to pray about and ask God to search your heart.
Possibility 3 : Lack of organization
Do you feel that you work hard but your wheels are just spinning? Are you running in circles, covering the same territory over and over? One person’s personality leans toward being organized while another person’s personality leans toward “going with the flow”. Both ways of life are legitimate but one extreme or the other is not! In order to evaluate a good balance between these two extremes, start a daily log of your activities so that you can get an overview of what is taking up your time, giving you a belief that there is not enough time given to you. If you are disorganized, try small steps to carve out specific blocks of time to concentrate on the task at hand. If you are super-organized, try carving out time for play or relaxation.
When you subscribe, you gain access to the Seasons library which includes a handy mini-workbook that includes a daily log.
Possibility 4: An unhealthy need for the adrenaline of drama
For some, a hectic lifestyle provides the drama that gives a person a surge of unhealthy energy.
Some people thrive on drama. Everything must be more. Worse. Or Better. Or extreme. The extra fuel has become an addiction that is hard to overcome. This is actually another form of discontent, essentially saying that “normal” or “peaceful” is not enough. Our fuel is actually to be the fruits of the Spirit which can only come from God. Peace is one of the fruits of evidence of God’s work and peace does not include hectic!
Galations 5:22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23. gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)
Essential Steps so you can Stop Being Too Busy
Step 1: Admit that your life is too busy
The first step toward getting out of the treadmill of being too busy is to admit that being so busy is not what you really want. Evaluate your life and schedule honestly. Give yourself grace.
Step 2: Sincerely want a way out of being so busy.
The second step is a surrender to God’s will about your hectic life. This is not about taking more charge and adding more self-discipline. This is about allowing God to change your heart. Your part will probably be to apply self-discipline when you are tempted to do nothing about it or when you want to return to old ways.
Step 3: Begin doing something about it!
Let’s face it. In order for changes to happen, you gotta actually do something about it! And it shouldn’t be hard. So, here is where help is the best way to accomplish a more peaceful life.
All three of these steps need a lot of prayer and a willingness to be obedient to whatever truth the Lord shows you. It’s an ongoing process in the society we live in. You will have to routinely take purposeful steps out of your busy life because it’s so easy to return to being too busy. So, where does a person begin, if they want out of the hectic lifestyle?
First, commit to prayer. God will give you wisdom. Then,
Make a commitment to change! There’s help for you!
I have a free, 7-Day Devotional and Prayer Guide with space to journal God’s answers. There’s also a workbook that will give you step-by-step guidance to make the changes you need. These are examples of FREE workbooks and cheatsheets designed with YOU in mind. Take that first step and join our fellowship where you will find encouragement in your journey to find peace and rest. Every day.
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Part Two: Create a quiet place of refuge
-and then actually go there on a regular basis. This is just one example of a quick, easy way to include a place where the “hectic” can be put aside while you pray and listen. Watch birds, listen to the wind in the trees. Close your eyes and just listen. Yes, listen. You will discover things you didn’t know before!
Another great “listening place” is a vegetable garden. The garden is work, but the change of pace and the different kind of focus can help you slow down long enough to hear God. God reveals principles as you observe seeds becoming plants and plants providing food. That observation can help you know that you are not the one in control of your provision, therefore helping you to know that a hectic lifestyle is not necessary. You have your part, but God is the one who causes His plans to happen.
The garden is a place to bare your heart to the Lord, ask questions, seek guidance, and pray for others. The sense of God’s presence in the garden grows as the seasons become years and the years become a life of seeking God in your garden refuge.
Create a sitting space for your place of refuge.
If you don’t have space for a garden or simply don’t like gardening, consider creating another place of refuge where you actually sit, away from electronics. If you are not an “outdoors” person, you can create a quiet zone in your home, even if it is just one chair in a corner of a busy room. That room is most likely quiet at least part of the day. If not, carve out a daily time-frame when it must be quiet.
Create a space where friends and family can join you in your place of refuge.
A place like a porch can become a shared refuge where people actually sit and talk to each other without having the distraction of a screen to watch. Do you have a “screen” in your outdoor living area? Make an invitation for friends and family to your refuge when there’s not a game to watch or invite them to come before or stay later without the screen being on. Let’s be honest. Deep down, people want to connect, heart to heart.
The sooner you take these steps toward letting go of being too busy, the sooner peace will grow in your life.
What are your first steps toward creating a life where you are no longer too busy?
The next article that you will be interested in is: How to Tell if You Are Too Busy.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. – Mat 6:33 CSB