“I am convinced that one reason the devil has access to people’s emotions is that they keep flying through life without taking time to get renewed in the Presence of the Lord. They ignore their need to sit, to rest, and to wait upon the Lord. As a result, their perception of things around them gets blurred. Doing too much at too fast of a pace has worn them down, causing them to lose their focus and affecting their ability to see things the way they really are.”
“There’s a big problem with moving so fast. The demands of our schedule – job, family, church, friendships, and so forth – start piling up, each overlaying the other as we race from place to place. When this happens, we start becoming ineffective in every area of life. We’re just trying to do too much, too fast. Eventually our busyness leads to a breakdown of everything. The body suffers. The mind suffers.” (Dec 30 Sparkling Gems From the Greek – Rick Renner)
As I read the above in my morning devotional I couldn’t help but reflect on where I was at the beginning of last year. I was overwhelmed by every detail of life; I was on a runaway train heading for disaster and didn’t know how to stop. God has a way of bringing us to the end of ourselves, even when we deny reality. He loves us too much to let us run to self-destruction without drawing us back to Him as our source of all we need.
This reading reminded me of a sermon I had listened to earlier in the year, it was entitled ‘Take the day off’ by Pastor Robert Morris and I would encourage you to watch it as it convicted my heart as to how I had enabled myself to lose touch with my own needs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2fSDgzz6ZU
Pastor Morris reminds us that God himself needed rest after the creation of the world, He breathed forth life and beauty out of himself and on the seventh day he rested (And God blessed (spoke good of) the seventh day, set it apart as His own, and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all His work which He had created and done Genesis 2:3). God gave us the Sabbath, a day of rest, as a gift promising His provision (See, the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day the bread for two days; let every man remain in his place; let no man leave his place on the seventh day. Exodus 16:29).This day of rest is for our benefit (And Jesus said to them, The Sabbath was made on account and for the sake of man, not man for the Sabbath Mark 2:27). God made us mental, emotional, spiritual and physical beings and it is out of the overflow we are to witness to all peoples. Jesus often took time away from the crowds and demands of ministry to rest and be still, to be refreshed in order to then give. We cannot minister to the people around us when we are tired and drained, weak and overwhelmed. We cannot leave the crumbs of our life to our families.
When we are rested, refreshed and recharged we have so much more to offer. Our tasks become so much more meaningful as we become more present and focused. We weren’t designed to be robots going through the motions of each day, allowing the days of our life to just pass us by. God created us for relationship, with our families, colleagues and friends, and most importantly with Him. He gave us a world to enjoy and hearts to share with one another. It is vital to regulate our time so that we can allow ourselves the much needed rest our bodies crave.
Now, as I start a new year, I know that overcommitting myself is a weakness I need to guard. I need to guard it with a passion for the sake of my children. I need to listen to my body and my spirit and pay attention to when it feels overwhelmed. I need to learn to say ‘No’ and not feel bad like I’m letting people down. I need to take time to do the things that I enjoy and time to just be still and not feel guilty, I need to take the time to refresh, renew and revive my mind, body and soul. It’s hard being a mum and working full time, it’s a constant struggle to be there for everyone and get everything done. But the most important thing is being there and now, having lost most of a year to illness, I’ve learnt the hard way.
I pray that you can make whatever changes you need to make now, before the toll is too great.