“If you’re too busy for God, then you’re busier than God intended for you to be.”—Max Barnett
Those who know me will tell you that I am a shameless workaholic. I have no idea what to do with myself when I’m not writing, working on my Christian ministry coursework, or in my various church engagements and activities. I’m also about to be licensed in ministry in a few weeks. I am a senior in college and am 2 semesters away from graduating as a double major in English and Christian counseling. I know for me personally, it’s a struggle to balance everything and excel with a standard of excellence I try to place on myself.
In our Bible study this week, the revelation hit me that our time on Earth is just temporary—our final destination, if you will, is in Heaven. I was thinking about this as I was running a couple of errands afterwards and was thinking about all of this. I was thinking about all the stuff I’m involved in, how much time I divide between my school commitments, church, and family.
I was also reminded how I am on spring break this week but have spent the entire week either catching up on coursework or gathering research to begin the writing process for final papers. The last 8 weeks of the semester are the most hectic and I was taking this week to decompress and prepare.
I was sitting in my car yesterday as I was preparing to drive home and the quote that I headlined this post with came to mind. I go to a conference in Colorado Springs every January that focuses on leadership and discipleship in collegiate ministry. Max Barnett was the Baptist Student Union (also known as the Baptist Collegiate Ministry) leader of OU’s campus. In his sermons at this conference, he stresses a strong quiet time and prayer life. On the same side of that, he stresses not allowing yourself to get so busy that you don’t have time for God. The lesson this week paralleled that.
I had to push my licensing back a few weeks for this reason. I was getting so caught up in my day-to-day tasks that I was in essence, kicking God out of my life. I was basically putting God in the backseat with everything else in the forefront. This isn’t okay.
As we approach Resurrection Sunday, I want to spend the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday giving God the attention He deserves. I recently wrote a paper over an in-depth analysis over Psalm 22. It was heartbreaking and sobering, to say the very least. It’s humbling. Being so active in ministry like I am, it is too easy to lose sight of the big picture. In a more recent revelation I’ve gotten, I’ve learned that it’s okay for me to step back. It’s okay to not be able to do everything. My time here is just temporary and I know that my inheritance is in Heaven with the Father.
We aren’t here forever. If we were, we’d get too comfortable and dependent on the ways of the world and not strive to be in Heaven one day. Like most college students in our congregations, I will be hitting the ground running when classes resume in a few days, tying up loose ends, preparing final papers and projects, preparing for licensing, and then presenting my sermon in the pulpit and in class. There will be times that I’m going to have to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t do this” and that it’s okay. I know that I can’t allow myself to get so busy that God isn’t my main focus. I know that it’s okay to not be able to do everything on my master calendar or master to-do list.
In closing, I want to encourage all of you to have that quiet time where it’s just you and God. Typically, I take 30 minutes before I begin my morning routine of getting ready for class or whatever I’m doing that day to get in the Word, do my prayer and meditation time, and then begin my day. I also take the hour before I go to bed to journal. Currently I’m doing Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life devotional (that we’re also using in the Wednesday Noon Bible study). I also do prayer and meditate on what I’ve read, and allow God to speak to me where I don’t have so many distractions.
You don’t have to follow my routines. I want to challenge and encourage you to have that time with God. It doesn’t really matter what time of day it is, but I strongly, strongly encourage you to have that time. It’s really helped ease my anxiety and it’s helped me sleep better where I wake up not as stressed out by a busy schedule and have a less rushed, hectic start to my day. It also helps me fall asleep faster and easier.
I think that was all I wanted to cover in this post. I have a couple more posts planned. I just need to figure out how I want to do them.
Until next time,
Love and light,