Thursday, August 8, 2013

Frantic and Rushed: A Modern Day Plague

 "This is what the Sovereign Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me
    and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
    But you would have none of it." -Isaiah 30:15



There's a plague going around and it's catching. We have all probably had it at one point or another. We might still have it or we might be in recovery. It's symptoms are: anxiety, exhaustion, frustration, a depleted soul, a frantic spirit and always feeling rushed. What is it?

Excessive amounts of busyness. 

We think our strength is found in our full schedules or being able to boast of our busyness. We think our strength is found in that which we have "accomplished" each day. We think our strength is found in the activities we do each day. We have convinced ourselves these activities make us worthy.

We have it all backwards. Our strength is found in Christ alone. It is found in listening to what God truly wants of us and in making the choices to change our lives in order to listen.

How can we return to God and rest in Him to be saved, if we never stop long enough to return?

To truly return to God, we must listen and very often listening means sitting quietly in His presence. It means having the time to listen. God wants for us to make time to listen to Him. So often we say "but if God really wants to speak to me, he'll find a way." This is true---at times. God is powerful and He will find His way to speak. But many, many times, He wants us to seek Him and He wants us to make the time to seek Him. It shows Him our pure and good intentions towards Him. 

"I love your sanctuary, Lord,
    the place where your glorious presence dwells."
Psalm 26:8

 We are to love, delight, and rest in God's presence. We are not called to love a life of busyness.

In the quiet of the time we take to slow down, we build our inner spiritual muscles. Just as we exercise to build physical muscle, we must slow down to build spiritual muscle.  Hearing the voice of God and making the changes God requires of us require stillness and quiet. He doesn't want to shout at us through the busyness of our days. He doesn't want to yell through his megaphone at us in our cars as we drive to yet another activity, "Hey, you, slow down!"

In the quiet of saying "no" to busy activities, to time fillers, we practice strengthening our inner muscle. In the quiet of snuggling and playing with our children, we are shown how to slow down and listen to God. Often, He even speaks to us through our children, or through a character quality we are learning as a parent.

Taking time to rest in God means we are taking time to hear God. We are showing through our action of slowing down that God is our priority. We are told to "seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." Matthew 6:33

Seek the kingdom of God ABOVE ALL ELSE! 

That should really change our perspective. We are to seek His Kingdom before our own desires. Before our own activities. First before anything else that seems more pressing, more important. For the thing that seemed most important, that new car, that remodel, that activity, was not more important than the things God would have said to us had we not filled up our time so unnecessarily. Often God will speak to us about what activities in our lives stay and which go.

We can seek His Kingdom each day by starting our day with our focus on God. This takes purposeful intent. To live a life at a less busy, frantic pace will take daily diligence and commitment.  

We can seek His Kingdom without fear. Many, many people want to slow down but live in fear of what others will think of their choices. We are afraid to say no. Afraid to take our kids out of a class, afraid to say no to an activity during the week, afraid to say no to so many things. We are afraid to be mocked because we choose God first. Do we fear man, or do we fear God? We cannot fear the life God wants us to lead. It will bring freedom.

“Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults." Isaiah 51:7

Will God have us scurrying about in heaven? Or will He have us delighting in, worshiping Him and resting in His Holy presence?

 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." Matthew 6:19-21

 Excessive busyness brings barrenness. It brings a life that is filled with the unnecessary, the empty. The things we were busy with will pass away. Busyness leads to a path of inner desolation. The path God wants us on  leads to a life filled with the necessary, the edifying, and the truly soul filling things. We are so often afraid of "missing out." This fear keeps us frantically busy. We are afraid that if we say no to something, if we shut the door on things in our lives that our lives won't be full enough, satisfying enough. He won't leave us desolate, empty, and bored in our decision to follow Him and forsake other things.  He will leave us full, satisfied and peaceful. 

"He will give you everything you need." His promises are always true.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see the life you want for me. Help me to see the emptyness in my days of busyness and show me the fullness of the days you have for me. Help me to not fear your ways and to walk in them with confidence. Amen.

"When the fire of prayer goes out, the barrenness of busyness takes over." George Carey

"And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels..." 2 Thessalonians 1:7

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? Isaiah 66:1 

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1 



  1. such a real and necessary post. Thank you. I will slow down today because of it.

  2. Hi Ashley, I'm visiting from the blog hop at 'a wise woman builds her home.'

    Beautiful post on slowing down and taking time for the Lord. I love all the verses you included, very encouraging. : )

  3. Dear Ashley
    Our relationship with our Lord works much the same way as our relationships with those we call our friends. The more time we spend with them really listening and caring, the better and closer we will become!
    Blessings XX

  4. Thank you for reminding me of what my symptoms are from. Felt very encouraged. Have a blessed day. Tara.