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Busyness is a Choice

Recently, I sensed that the Spirit was impressing on me the importance of s-l-o-w-i-n-g down and that is the purpose of this blog; but first I want to share a story about the worst family vacation ever.
When I was a teenager, my parents decided to take a trip to the New England States – with teenagers.  There were some high points of the trip but as you can imagine, there were many low points.  One of those low points was an incident trying to get to our hotel.  We could see the hotel from the highway, but we couldn’t get there!  We needed an off ramp but there wasn’t one.  This was a point in time when there were no smart phones, no GPS, there wasn’t even Mapquest.  We had to use things like paper maps and landmarks.  Finally, after many failed attempts, we decided to stop and ask someone for directions.  They graciously gave us very specific directions and we were on our way and found the hotel.  We just needed to step back, take a moment, and slow down to find our destination.

Today, slowing down seems like that elusive hotel. It’s where we all want to go but it doesn’t seem like there is an off ramp.  We’re stuck in an unhealthy rhythm of busyness.  We suffer from a hurried soul. And we’re paying a deep price for it. We’re fatigued. We have zero margin. We’re distressed, depressed, distracted, divided, and restless. Our souls are hurried and we need help!  We’re living over-loaded lives.

The solution isn’t having more time. The solution is to live deliberately with the time we have. That’s the wisdom commended by God himself:
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.  --Psalm 90:12

It’s what Jesus did.  The questions is, HOW did Jesus do it? Let’s see as we get a glimpse into his earthly life in Luke 5.  Luke is one of the Gospels in the NT. It’s a biographical account of what Jesus did and said.  Luke 5 occurs in the early phase of Jesus’ ministry.

As the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear God’s word, he was standing by Lake Gennesaret.
-- Luke 5:1

Jesus provided a miraculous catch of fish.  Jesus recruited Peter to be his disciple.  Jesus healed a leper.  He did all these things and his popularity was growing quickly. Today we’d say that Jesus was going viral!

But the news about him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  -- Luke 5:15

People are pressing in to see him and be healed by him, and then Jesus does the unthinkable. Jesus hits pause.  He retreated to a quiet place when he needed to.
Yet he often withdrew to deserted places and prayed. -- Luke 5:16 

Jesus made space between the notes.  One author said, “it’s the space between the notes that makes the music.” Lance Witt, author of Replenish says, “The same is true of life. We must have space between the notes to make life work as God designed it.” Here in Luke 5:16,  Jesus took time to live in the spaces between the notes.  Can you imagine this happening today? “Jesus, what are you doing?  There are people to heal and feed. Demons need to be cast out and the News of God’s kingdom must be spread far and wide!” What is Jesus doing?

Here’s what Jesus is doing: he’s living at God’s pace.  God’s pace is one of work and rest: Create in 6 days and rest on the seventh.  Out of loving obedience to His heavenly father, Jesus is following the command of Psalm 46:10.  “Be still, and know that I am God.  Jesus lived according to God’s rhythm. God’s rhythm is one of work and rest. If we want to experience calm in our souls we will want to start making a rhythm of work and rest.Making a rhythm of rest will calm your hurried soul.

Jesus made it a practice to quiet his soul before his Heavenly Father.He sought to live at the pace of God rather than the pace of the crowd.  Jesus made time to rest and seek God.  Making a rhythm of rest will calm our hurried souls. And when our soul is less hurried we can live with a kingdom minded focus, just like Jesus.

One of the enemies of the Christian life is spiritual ADD-attention deficit disorder. It is distraction.  We’re often living at such a hurried pace, it’s difficult to focus on living with purpose and focus on whether we are becoming more like Jesus.  A good question to ask is, “Am I living life at a Christ-like rhythm that fills my soul?” If you’re a parent, ask yourself what legacy are you leaving for your children?  Our goal for our kids shouldn’t be to have them live lives filled with frantic activity. Instead lead them to live lives at a Christ-like rhythm that fills their souls.

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