Battling Busy

      How would you describe your pace or speed of life?   Socrates once said, “beware the barrenness of a busy life.”  Ghandi concurred with “there is more to life than increasing it’s speed.”  Maybe we should listen.  It appears to me that most of us are running through life.  We are frazzled and stressed.  Even many of us who say that we follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace, don’t seem to walk in peace.  What can we do?  How can we walk, not run, through life with a deep sense of peace?
     First, live Intentionally.  What exactly does God want me to do with my life?  This is a foundational question.  Prayerfully discerning our calling allows us to say yes to what God actually wants us to accomplish and no to so many enticing competitors.  Author Michael Kendrick says, “Calling is the customized life purpose which God has ordained for you to bring Him the greatest glory and the maximum expansion of His kingdom.”    The Apostle Paul expresses the same thought in Ephesians 2:10—"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”   That purpose may carry you through different jobs and seasons.  I think of the famous King David of the Old Testament.   He was a shepherd, soldier, musician and finally a king.  But through it all, despite his flaws, he tried to live for the glory of God.  I love the summary of his life found in Acts 13:36a which states, “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried . . .  That’s what each of us should strive for--to serve God’s purpose in our generation.  If you need some guidance discerning your calling I would recommend reading two books—S.H.A.P.E. by Eric Rees and Soul Print by Mark Batterson.  You might want to write a personal mission statement.  This exercise will help you live intentionally.   
     A second principle to living a life of peace rather than perpetual performance is to set appropriate boundaries.  Now that you’ve discerned your call you can focus like a laser beam.  Author Leo Babauta says “Identify the essential.  Eliminate the rest.”  That’s easier said than done but as you focus you can set boundaries to minimize expending your limited energy unnecessarily.  Opportunities and requests for your time will always be coming your way.  You must say no to many of them in order to say yes to God’s call and those key relationships in your life.  Simple boundaries such as turning off your cell phone during dinner or family time is so vital.  No is a beautiful and powerful word that can change your life.  It hurt when recently my ten-year old asked me, “Dad, will you play me a board game, it can be a short one?”  Ouch.  While I feel like I do play lots of games with him that question revealed that often I do not have the time to focus on him.  What in my life do I need to say no to so that I can spend more time with my son?   One important Biblical boundary is the concept of Sabbath.  God’s people were told to take one day a week to rest and worship.  The Jews practiced Sabbath on Saturday, the early Christians on Sunday (because of the resurrection) but the idea is the same.  Just as we have to set down and plug in our phones to recharge we should weekly recharge and embrace refreshment.  Setting this boundary creates more peace in your life.  Practicing Sabbath gives us the opportunity to recalibrate our lives in line with God’s purposes.  The world will not stop if we take a break, if we actually rest.  There is a freedom in acknowledging that God runs the world, not us.  Author Margaret Feinberg says, “I came to see rest as a divine invitation to make the physical, emotional, and spiritual confession that God is Lord of all.” 
      Jesus Christ invites you to clarify your calling and set appropriate boundaries so that you can enjoy the peace he offers you.  Please today, press pause on your life.  Refresh, recharge, and renew.
Derek Dickinson
Pastor Journey Christian Church