Keeping Balance in a Busy World
In our society today so many people are overloaded and overscheduled that it leads to being overburdened and potentially the danger of going overboard. For the Christian I believe it’s important that we are watch and guard the time that God has entrusted to us. Just like the scriptures teach on tithe and stewardship of money we also must be good stewards of our time.
The foundation that we live on for tithing in church is 10%. This means when we get paid 10% of that income goes to God (or the local church we are a part of). If this is true for money should we not” steward time” on Sunday to worship as well? But there is more! I believe we must examine also the time we use through the week. A good steward of money doesn’t only give 10% to God but also wisely uses their money on everything else as well. We must be wise how we use our time through the week. Listen to what Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” This is such an important reminder to us as Christian’s every day. This being said I want to touch on something that is very important to me and I hope it will become important for you as well.
I want to look at a couple scriptures that I’ve used before but I think they are important enough to keep looking at:
“That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:32-35) “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. So many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:30-31)
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me! “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
As you spend time reading these passages I want you to see that Jesus shows us the value and the priority of balance. I hear Christians say that they talk or pray to God all throughout the day. We don’t have to sit down in solitude to do it. I understand that praying continually as Paul addressed (1 Thess. 5:16-18) and I too commune with God in this way. But I believe Jesus desires to teach us the importance of having a set time and space to spend at his feet.
We need to keep balance in being active for God and being receptive to God.
Don’t busy yourself so much with God’s work that you forget to be in His presence. We can’t get a sense of God’s presence without creating space for God’s presence. Being active in life is good. The problem that I see with many Christians today is do we take time to be quiet before our heavenly Father?
In our passages Jesus and the disciples were active in building the kingdom. Jesus knew in order to keep up the work he needed the solitude time with His Father. Finding the time of solitude is a discipline. I like to say discipline is the other side of discipleship. Having spiritual discipline makes us more sensitive to the voice of God. God is speaking but sometimes we seldom hear! I believe when we get alone with God in a time set in advance it sets us up to better hear God in the everyday things.
Our lives have become absurd. Within the word absurd, we find the Latin word surdus, which means “deaf”. What happens though when we take this practice seriously and begin to learn to listen? Take our English word Obedient; it comes from the Latin word audire which means “listening”. Spiritual disciplines are necessary in order to move slowly from an absurd to an obedient life, from a life filled with noisy worries to a life in which there is some free inner space where we can listen to our God and follow his guidance. The core of prayer is listening and if we are honest with all the “noise” around us it can be hard to hear!
Solitude is not a spontaneous response to an occupied or preoccupied life. We have too many reasons to not be alone. We must then be careful planning some solitude time. We will fill our calendars with everything else but quiet time with our Father! Jesus said “Go to your private room and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place.” (Matthew 6:6) I think Jesus was onto something. We need a time and place for God. Why? If we really believe not only that God exists but also that he is actively present in our lives—healing, teaching, and guiding—we need to set aside a time and space to give him some undivided attention.
Even though we may remove outer distractions, inner ones will manifest themselves. We often use outer distractions to shield against the inner ones. This is why it’s difficult to get alone. The more we do it the more Jesus will bring healing to our inner conflicts. The discipline of solitude allows us to gradually come in touch with the hopeful presence of Jesus in our lives. At first it will be hard, but as you discipline the time and space I hope you will realize the true spiritual value.
With Love In Christ, Pastor Jamie