This past Sunday's sermon was pretty much spot on with what God has been telling me here lately. I have found myself consumed with being too busy for people, and time with Him. It makes me sad, but not sad enough to do anything about it. That is...until Saturday night at 3:00 am. I had been planning a vacation for awhile. I am actually takinh a week off in July, and at first was pretty much set on going to California to visit friends. But a $500 plane ticket isn't exactly what I had in mind, plus the cost of housing, plus I would be trying to visit everyone and their mom and I just don't know that it is the best use of my time after the craziness that this summer has already been.
So I went through about 8 million (okay a bit of an exaggeration) scenarios, before I realized that maybe right now what I need to do is make God my priority. Maybe what I need to do is spend time in prayer with Him. Away from social media, away from Netflix, away from all the things that so often distract me from where my focus needs to be.
Life for me has become about doing everything for everyone all of the time. Life for me has become about doing my best all of the time, about running myself ragged trying to say yes to everything that is asked of me...and frankly it is freaking exhausting. I can't keep going at this rate. I don't need to keep going at this rate.
I don't have to say yes to everything. Even the things that I say yes to do not have to be completed perfectly without any flaws. Because really it isn't about me getting everything right, and doing everything that I can do to be someone important. It isn't about proving myself worthy. Because I don't need to prove myself worthy. I don't need to prove that I have a role in this world. I don't need to prove.
Yet, I am always trying to prove. I am always trying to make a difference but not for the right reasons.
I am addicted to the Kingdom of Noise. Trying to accomplish everything in the world myself. Trying to make everything the way I think it should be. Doing things my way Filling up my calendar with people, Bible Studies, volunteering, coffee dates. They all look like great, stellar things. They all seem like things that would bring me closer to God. Really though, none of it brings me closer to Him, because it all is representing the wedge that I am allowing to be driven between.
It is easier to stay busy, than to stop and ask Him what I should be doing differently in my life. It is easier to stay busy than to work on changing the things that I know are keeping me from love. It is easier to check FB than to sit down and pray. To communicate with the all-knowing God of the universe...it is not quite as entertaining as the banter back and forth about the presidential candidates.
My life has in many ways become my idol. I am not often still before God, because I have allowed myself to become accustomed to constant activity and distraction.
Is that really the kind of life I want to live? Do I really want to wait till the end of the day before offering up my praise, and requests to Him? Do I really want to only think of Him when it is convenient for me, or when I have nothing else to read or entertain me?
What kind of life would I be living, if that was all that I thought of the one who Created me?
I had someone look me in the eyes last week and say..."There is no way you can help other people, if you are not filled up yourself."
It's so true, isn't it? How do we expect to keep giving of ourselves without being full? How do we expect to make a difference in this world, if we are trying to do it on our own, in our own way?
I constantly find myself fighting the noise in my life. I constantly find myself wanting to take moments to hear nothing, to be nothing, to just listen and understand all there is to get from silence. That's not what my culture values though. That is not even what a lot of churches value. We value keeping our lives and our kids lives so busy that there is not time to just be. There is no time to connect as a family. There is no time to pray.
How many of us have said those words, "I'll pray for you." Then....we don't. Why? Because we get so wrapped up in the go, go, going of life that communicating with God about someone else is the lowest on our checklist of things to get done in a day.
I can't be this busy. I can't be too busy for people, for prayer, for communication with my Creator. Because if I continue to let the Kingdom of Noise have the throne, there will be nothing left in me but selfishness, anger, and fear. There will be nothing left, but all the things that I don't want to be.
My life has to change. I have to pass by the illusion that the "stuff" I am doing is the most important. I have to realign myself with the truth that His Kingdom is the only one that matters. My busy life does nothing to point others to love. My busy life only causes others to think they don't matter.
In the next week or two I will take a step back, and make more time to pray. I will because it is one of the greatest things in life I can do. In fact it might be the greatest thing in life I can do.
Solitude and prayer....what could happen to change this world if we all took more time for solitude and prayer???