Thursday, July 31, 2014
Busyness and Spiritual Poverty
God tells us "be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) Culture is busier than ever today. Families and individuals have more apps, calenders and time schedules to block every inch of time with "activity." Information comes at us faster than we can even absorb it, and we can always be reached at any time. Self imposed busyness is a type of addiction, a "high" of feeling important and lots of activity gives a buzz, and it continues for years. Sometimes fear causes busyness, afraid of what we will face within ourselves, or simply afraid of not keeping up with the culture around us. Sometimes it is imposed by others, some even well meaning and we must learn to say no.
Spiritual riches, which are the true riches we should be seeking after will fill our souls to overflowing. This is how God, our great Father and Creator, made His children. He wants us to be made whole in Him, not fragmenting bits and pieces of our soul out to various parts of the world. Frazzled, exhausted or overwhelmed from a rush of activity, the soul is depleted and the heart can hardly come to God in a state of listening. Life is lived in a state of busy rushing, God is not truly known. The heart of God, who He is, and the peace and rest He offers are missed.
Our relationship with God has to be sought after with as much effort and time as we put into our busyness. Self imposed busyness distracts us from this diligent seeking and relationship building. The enemy, always prowling around to devour, wants nothing more than to keep us busy with meaningless activities. This rushing deprives our relationship with God, our children, families and loved ones from meaningful life. Children are not filled by meaningless activities. If we give them anything may it be God and ourselves. Too many children are longing to be shown what really matters, to feel their tiny hearts and souls filled with the love of God, and with the true riches He offers. It is a great blessing to our children to set them up on this path.
The path of the world (humanism) has people wearing busyness as a badge of honor. They are supposed to be fulfilled, and feel important. Their days packed to the max, they have most certainly lived their day to it's full potential and made the most of reaching their 'destiny.' Their busyness is temporary and it will pass away. These very same ones, as they approach their later years and the end of their lives, will be living in spiritual poverty.
Walking the path pursuing spiritual riches takes intent, discipline and a strong and courageous heart. It means walking against the currents pushing against us, but those currents lead to fruitless things. Hearing God, getting to know Him will require that our hearts face hard things, that God will pluck out roots He doesn't want growing there. As we grow in His grace, we find peace and rest. Life will change as we learn what is important and worthy of our time, because pursuing God is first and He helps make the rest fall into it's rightful place. We will pursue the meaningful and enriching, and cast off the depleting, meaningless things. Lack of self imposed rushing---choosing a life of God's health for the soul brings a new found strength to the mind, heart and body. God renews us and heals us as we choose to follow His holy way.
Our souls do not pass away, they are made to live on in eternity. So why do we pursue that which rots and rusts? Busyness is one of the biggest lies of the enemy. Busyness distracts from focusing on that which is eternal, salvation. Not being filled with endless busyness is almost a radical lifestyle choice these days. May God give us the grace to choose His paths. We do not want to look back in the end, wondering where we spent all of our time and left wondering about the state of our eternity.
We want to be the ones who at the end of our lives look back and say "I took up my cross and carried it. I forsook all other paths. Now by the gift and grace of God, I go to receive the crown of my salvation." God in His love and wisdom will help us cast of the chains of busyness to receive the freedom of pursuing Him.
"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" Matthew 16:24-26
Prayer: "Lord, I desperately am seeking your way and I need your wisdom. Show me what to pursue and what to forsake. Show me your path to life and salvation, show me the things that are lasting and grant me your grace to stay the course for a lifetime." Amen.
"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act." Psalm 37:5