Busy, Busy, Busy!!!!!
While this post is for everyone, I am sure you type “A” personalities will likely relate more so. For those who don’t understand what a type “A” personality is, it’s a person who is generally characterized as a “hard charger” or “getter done” type personality. I am a type “A”; thus, I feel rather equipped to speak on today’s topic.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to use the Christmas break as a time to slow down. This year was not unlike any other year in that we had some restful time with family. However, at the end of a couple weeks, my mind typically goes into overdrive reflecting on catching up. It’s time to “get busy” and get back to work ringing in the New Year.
This year, the day many would get back to work, we had a major snow storm and deep freeze in the Midwest which has nearly shutdown the entire state. As a result, my busy schedule full of appointments had to all be rescheduled. While the process of rescheduling was a bit challenging, it was completed and I found myself reflecting on the “stillness in the storm”.
Yes, “stillness” has been something our Heavenly Father has been impressing upon me over that past few years. Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God”, is a familiar verse to many and has been one of many I’ve reflected upon. During this winter storm, circumstances have happened to once again emphasize the importance of being still and exalting God. Let me explain.
Last night as I laid down to rest, I found myself overcome with gratitude for the “stillness in the storm”. I was laying next to my wife in a warm bed knowing that tomorrow there was no need for me to set an alarm and arise early. Now that may not seem significant, however, what God brought to mind were all those years when a “storm” like this would have created great responsibiliy. As one who oversaw manufacturing operations, it would be times like this that I would have to focus on insuring the safety of our facilities and the personel working within them. I also reflected upon the days that my father slept at the laundry business we owned to insure the boiler didn’t kick-out causing pipes to freeze. No, I didn’t have any of these worries, and had been blessed with the opportunity to just “be still”.
As I awoke this morning, God brought Psalms 46:10 to mind. However, this time, it wasn’t in reference to the circumstances surrounding the weather, it was in relationship to the “busyness” of prayer. Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend relating to how we often fill our prayers with words rather than listening. I don’t know about you, but I’ve often wondered if my prayer life is pleasing to God. Being a bit process minded, I can find myself at times simply going through the motions and checking off the box. This “process” can end up with my spending a lot of time “talking” versus “listening” to our Father.
I often view my relationship with our Heavenly Father through the lens of a relationship with a best friend,which in my case, is my wife Lisa. One of the things that she, as well as others, always comment upon is my ability to be a good listener. This actually is a gift from God as most type “A” personalities have a difficult time listening as they’re “too busy”. While God’s also gifted me with the ability to be a problem solver, what I find is that by listening and asking thought provoking questions, people normally can solve their own problems. Thus, you might find in our conversations that 80%+ of the time I’m “listening” versus “talking”.
Going back to my time as I awoke with the Lord this morning, he reminded me that, not unlike any other relationship, much of the time He simply wants us to “be still” and “listen” for his voice. Unfortunately, with the busyness of our schedules in today’s world, this doesn’t come naturally. As a matter of fact, as much as I’ve grown in this area, a recent assessment I took indicated that “Busyness – An over extension of lifestyle that may get in the way of growth” is the biggest obstacle I have hindering growth in my relationship with Christ. This is particularly challenging as the pace of my life today is significantly slower than the first 40 years; yet, I continue to be challenged to “be still”.
Well, speaking of being challenged, God has a way of making his messages clear for which this morning is no exception. It seems that I wasn’t the only one who woke to Psalms 46:10 this morning. As I got out of bed and began to read some of my devotionals, I read a post on “Stillness” from John Powers that captures in great detail the essence of my message this morning. I encourage you to take the time to read it as well.
So, I recognize today’s post was a bit longer than most. Hopefully God’s used it to impact you personally as it has myself. As we go into 2014, I encourage you to make “being still” and “listening” to your Heavenly Father a priority in your life. In the end, does any of your “busyness” really matter if you haven’t taken this time upfront?