This is part 7 of a series of posts I’ve been sending out every Friday,  relevant to the theme of this year’s ENGAGE Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference (only 3 weeks to go for Christchurch, 4 for Auckland!!!). Thanks to those who have given feedback on the previous posts, it’s good to know they are helpful!  Here goes with the seventh post…

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Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Crazy-Paced World…

“The Cost of Crazy-Busy”.

Galatians 6:8 NKJV – 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

In the last post, we talked about distraction, and the difference between what is good, and what is best. Today we will be considering the price we pay when we allow our lives to get crazy-busy.

If today your life is in a crazy-busy mess – it’s important to know that it didn’t just happen overnight.

The What and the Why.

Over the last 8-9 months, we have been hearing a loud ‘thud’ each time we used our shower. It took multiple times over many months to try and locate where it was coming from – as it only happened once when the shower was first used. Eventually, after taking turns placing our ear against various sections of the wall in our bathroom, we felt we had narrowed down the area, and at the same time discovered a very slow leak that had gone under the timber and onto the carpet in the next room!

Our next task was to find out why this was happening.

I won’t bore you with the details, but we just got the problem fixed, after having the shower ripped out and discovering a very small area of the liner that had not been sealed with silicone. A 30-second job that was neglected, led to months of annoying sounds, hours of investigation, multiple phone calls, and an expensive repair job. The shower company managed to locate the original installer (who was probably over-worked and crazy-busy!) and told him how much of a big cost his small mistake had reaped.

What’s the point here?

If you are suffering in the midst of a crazy-busy, stressful, distracted season of your life – you’re probably not going to “fix” that by focusing on the symptoms of the problem. You’re going to need to do a little bit more investigation, pull apart some areas of your life, and then you may see what you need to fix.

Victims…Really?

Lest I lose you in the theory – here’s a quick example…

Your week is full of activities and events – driving the kids here and there, rushing back and forth to meet deadlines, flying out the door often saying, “quick we’re late!”, putting the kids to bed irritably, because there’s “stuff” to do once they’re asleep – and then it’s the same thing all over again the next day!

In this scenario there will be second-hand stress, that “leaks” into your families life, and you may not even realise it. There will be tension that leads to “thuds” of noisy, angry outbursts of frustration.

Then, to make matters worse you are driving yourself crazy by constantly saying to yourself, “What is happening?”, “Why are things like this?”, Where is this stress all coming from?”.

If you are suffering in the midst of a crazy-busy, stressful, distracted season of your life – you’re probably not going to “fix” that by focusing on the symptoms of the problem.

At times like this, we can act like victims of our circumstances, excusing ourselves from God’s priorities, when in fact we are the ones who have created those circumstances. We have reaped what we have sown. We are paying the price for saying yes when we should have said no, and for missing little areas of our lives that needed attention a long time before today. Priorities neglected when we were just a little busier than we should have been, have now caused us to be crazy-busy.

So what should you do?

If you don’t stop and bring your schedule to a halt, it will bring you to a halt.

If you don’t evaluate who and what is dictating how you spend your time, you will spend your life pleasing people who won’t cry at your funeral.

If you don’t prioritise that which God considers to be a priority, you may end up with a saved soul, but a wasted life.

If you recognise all of this, acknowledge it, but fail to act upon it, you will look back one day with deep regret that even though you knew what to do, you just didn’t carry it out.

Remember, God wants us to be busy, just not crazy-busy. If crazy-busy is our lives right now,  we need to ask ourselves, “what is happening, why is it happening, and what do I need to do to fix it?”. God is the only One who can effectively carry out such a “fix-it” job in our lives, helping us to sow to the Spirit, instead of to our flesh.

So if this is speaking to you today – don’t wait….investigate…before it’s too late.

For thought, prayer and application: The hardest part of getting off the crazy-busy treadmill, is actually stopping for long enough to assess the situation and evaluate what needs to be done. The Titanic needed to start turning a long time before it reached the iceberg – and if it had, many lives would have been spared. One suggestion is to give yourself a time block of 30, or even 15 minutes, every day for the next week. Make it a sacred, non-interrupted time (apart from emergencies). This is not easy when we are busy – it can almost seem impossible. However, if we use that time to prayerfully consider our situation, how we got there, and what the Lord would have us do – we will make progress one day at a time, and God will help us climb out of the miry clay. As the ancient proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today”.

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