Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Chains of Busyness

Dear Friends,

*If you don't have time to read this, feel free to stick to the boldface type.*

I am becoming more and more convinced that Satan's most prolifically used weapon in modern American culture is the weapon of busyness.

 I'm trying hard to think of one individual, and even one family that is not currently and often being worn down, exhausted, spent, and thrown off balance (spiritually and/or physically) due to the busy demands of their lifestyle. And friends, I'm not even talking about people who are rolling in the dough. I'm primarily thinking of us blue-collar middle class, or lower middle class folks. Though certainly, it reaches all income levels! As I am currently a married-with-no-kids housewife, I often feel that I am the only person in America who doesn't feel too busy most of the time. 

On that note, I also have to take my financial dilemmas and insecurities to God again and again and again. But it is so worth it!

Let me clarify "too busy". These are just some examples I've seen in my life at different times: 

-Not feeling able to spend 30 minutes to an hour in devotion (prayer, worship, scripture) on a daily basis. (The amount of time you spend may vary- but I do believe it is a problem if you are completely incapable of penciling in an intentional half hour with the Lord.)

-Not feeling capable of beginning and maintaining a commitment to disciple and/or be discipled by meeting with a fellow believer once a week. (This is personal to me. Others may rather struggle to meet in life groups or pursue mentoring opportunities.) I'm reminded of Hebrews 10:25.

-Not feeling free to pursue opportunities that seem to be directly provided by the Lord (i.e. serving with the youth on sunday evenings, volunteering on Saturdays, etc.) *Note that I'm not referring merely to things that are written down in the church bulletin; I'm talking about things you personally feel the Lord impressing on your heart to do. It's personal! And obedience is something we need to take seriously.

-Not being able to think straight enough to pray throughout the day. I'm reminded of Ephesians 6:18 "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

-Not feeling free to talk to people in public as the Holy Spirit prompts you to do. OR, not desiring to be open to the Spirit's leading at all, because you don't have time to talk to anyone! You've got to book it!! Eph 5:1-2; Gal 5:16.

-Not having time to get 8 hours of sleep (parents may be exempt from this- I wouldn't know about that) or eat 3 meals a day. Let's be honest. Even believers can take crankiness to all new levels. Unless seriously fasting, that's no way to live by the Spirit.

-Not believing it is possible to set aside one day a week for a biblical sabbath- day of intentional rest without work or the usual demanding tasks such as cleaning, running errands, etc. This is a concept I'm just now trying to apply.

In other words, you may feel pulled by the Holy Spirit in church to do certain things and apply biblical truths in certain ways during the week-

BUT immediately feel the unavoidable tug in the other direction by the mere fact that, THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE.

Please know that I am not condemning anyone for these feelings. It's hard to figure it all out, and live it out.

My food for thought is this: 

What if the math is just not adding up to what the Spirit seems to be asking of us, simply because our culture has created a mold for a lifestyle that God never intended us to live? What if the reason we can't seem to make enough money AND have enough time to use it for God's Kingdom is because our culture has left us with a blueprint for finances and lifestyle that God does not agree with? What if we ought to come up with ways that are countercultural in order to be good stewards of our time and resources?

What has cut in on you? What is destroying your peace? What is preventing you from being obedient and bearing fruit for the Kingdom? How indispensable are these things, really? Are these chains really unbreakable, or are we just failing to think outside of the wealthy-accomplished-individualized-American box? Is Biblical, Christian community really an unattainable concept? Or if not, then are you achieving it right now? If you are, please tell me how!!

Living countercultural lifestyles. Doing without the things we've been told over and over again are essentials. Sacrificing temporal gain for eternal profit. None of these things are done easily. Chains rarely break painlessly. Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"

 Let's ask God for wisdom in living Biblical lives, in throwing off chains that enslave us and keep us from serving one another in love. Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

Cheers and God Bless,
Natasha W.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really good post. Really good. I'm tempted to share it on facebook, but I don't want to trespass against your private blog.

    It seems to me that there is never enough time in life to do all the things worth doing out there. So... we just have to prioritize. Judging from this post, I really like the way you prioritize.

    Love you.


    P.S. If you feel comfortable, would you mind messaging me with your address so I can send you snail mail?