Thursday, February 25, 2010

Say Uncle!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." -Matthew 11:27-29

As a child, I liked to wrestle with my siblings (or cousins or any other willing party; I was a tomboy back then). If you were losing and wanted to quit, the victor would always cry out, "Say 'Uncle'!" before they would let you go. Saying "Uncle" meant the battle was over; you were admitting that you were overwhelmed.

Well, life has been amazingly hectic lately, and after looking at today's schedule (four, yes, FOUR things going on after work today), I am officially saying "Uncle." I am overwhelmed! How is it that my life can be one constant rush from one activity to the next? Some of this is inherent in being a mom - two of tonight's activities are for my kids. Another one is a service activity for the church. But regardless of whether the activities are positive or noble or family-oriented, the fact is that our entire lives can easily become stuffed with activities, and just because they're good, that doesn't make the busyness a good thing.

I admit that I bring a lot of this on myself. The fact is that I can get much more done if there are five things on my to-do list than if there is only one. I seem to thrive on busyness. You would think that if I had more free time, my house would be cleaner and my life more organized. But as I quickly learned during a few rather short stay-at-home periods of motherhood, given large expanses of free time, I tend to waste them with TV, computer games and the like. So I definitely tend to err on the side of busyness.

But, as Moses' father-in-law Jethro told him in Exodus 18, "What you are doing is not good. You...will only wear yourself out." The good is in fact the enemy of the best. All this racing around, living a life of "good" but hectic activity, gets in my way. There are no free moments to think, to plan, to set goals. There is not nearly enough time in the Word, and much too little time spent talking to my children about the Lord or His Word. In fact, there's too little time spent talking to my family at all, except for giving advice, instructions, updates, or orders. How can relationships thrive in that environment? They don't.

Satan is more than happy for us to fill our lives with good things as long as they keep us too busy to draw nearer to the Savior, to encourage others in their walk with God, or to spend time in prayer. His plan is subtle but insidious and effective. Blitz our lives with frenetic activity and don't give us time to examine our lives, our thoughts, our hearts...till one day we look up and realize that we have drifted away from our loved ones and the One Who loves us more than anyone else can.

For many years I have regarded busyness as an acquaintance, a regular part of my life. But now I must finally acknowledge that I have let it become a friend...a welcomed and accepted part of my life. I think it's time to "unfriend" this very unfriendly friend.

Lord, help me to become the LEAST busy person in my family, so that I can become the biggest encourager, so that I can model Your peace to my husband and kids, and so I have time to do the things that matter the most. And please put someone in my life to hold me accountable and remind me of this the next time I am tempted to sign up for everything!

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