The month of January may have been the busiest I have ever felt in my life. So many great things happened and it seemed like they all happened at once. In the span of the past month we learned we were having a baby boy, our house sold, we moved out of our house, we signed a contract on a new house, we made a bucket list trip to North Carolina and the church launched its’ second campus.
I don’t list all of those things to boast about how busy of a person I am, because, for one, I didn’t manage my responsibilities like some kind of “Type A” do-it-all. I stumbled my way through most of it and did the best I could as often as I could.
At times I focused way too much on the responsibilities at hand, at the expense of time in God’s presence. My point with all of that is simply – life gets busy.
I didn’t walk into the month of January expecting so many things to happen at once. One thing led to another and before I knew it I had a lot on my plate. And honestly, towards the end of the month, I was feeling slightly overwhelmed.
Courtney and I were en-route to watch the Tarheels play in Chapel Hill and while I was beyond excited for our trip, I was also having a hard time relaxing because I realized I forgot to make a call to a plumber to fix an important issue that our house closing depended on.
My mind wanted to drift to that and all of the other responsibilities I needed to manage as our plane taxied on the runway. Right before takeoff as the plane made it’s final turn I felt a sudden stop and a momentary steadying. It was in that moment that I felt the gentle whisper of God. I had never really paid much attention to the moments right before a flight, but this time I did.
It took me a minute, but as our plane lifted off the ground and headed to its’ destination I started to realize the importance of that short moment right before take-off. Without that momentary pause, just a few seconds of steadying and aiming – there is no telling how our take-off would’ve went. And on our return trip I noticed the same thing. Every single time, before the wheels would start turning to gain speed to lift off of the ground towards our destination, that same momentary pause.
It was that pause that I felt God asking me to take.
I had become so focused on completing “the next thing” that I was forsaking time in His presence and the opportunity to hear His voice.
It’s tempting to jump from one thing to the next trying to slay your to-do list like some kind of superhuman. But the truth is, without a momentary pause we will probably end up aiming at the wrong things – or we could crash before even taking off.
The Bible tells us that there is a way that seems right to man, but that it leads to death (Proverbs 16:25).
So even though it may seem beneficial to go and go… and then go some more, that may not always be the best idea.
I truly believe the only way we can manage our responsibilities and live the life God has called us to, is by taking the moments before we do anything to steady ourselves in God’s presence.
When we regurarly take the time to pause before God we enter into a rythym that allows our motives to be checked. The Bible often refers to this kind of rhythm with the word – “shalom”. The root meaning of shalom is to be whole or sound. It’s one word that encompasses several others – completeness, wholeness, well-being, welfare and peace.
Busyness can be a blessing, but only if you are depending on God. When this world gets overwhelming you have to go to the One who has overcome it.
God has a plan for you and while it may be too much for you, it’s never too much for Him. It will require the help of His presence, His people, and His rest.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)