"So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom."--Psalm 90:12
How many of you have busy lives? Okay, that's a silly question. What mom isn't busy? But let me ask this question: What fuels your life---your schedule or your relationship with God? Your to-do list or a sense of purpose and direction from God?
This past week for me was a week spent jumping from one project to the next. Besides preparing for teaching on Sunday, I also was writing and recording new projects for my newsletter (We pause this blog post for a commercial break: if you haven't signed up, I encourage you to do so! You won't want to miss out on these specials!), going on a field trip with the kids, and doing some work that my husband needed me to do for the house. I didn't do so well in keeping my "going to bed at a decent hour" goal that I had set back in January, that's for sure! I had to take a nap after church on Sunday to catch up on that needed sleep! This week doesn't promise to be any better, with a doctor's appointment, more house decisions to make, and who knows what other surprises yet unknown.
All this to say that even if you don't have a week like mine, I bet you could tell me something rather similar. In this day and age, it is rare to find someone who is not busy. Even retirees these days are on the go constantly. With improvements in health care and advances in medical science, it is very possible to keep going full steam well into your 80s (or beyond!).
In fact, I have even come to believe that if I am not doing something, I am being lazy. It somehow feels wrong. To be honest, I like having work to do. It gives me a sense of purpose and direction. As Captain Von Trapp says in Sound of Music, "Activity suggests a life filled with purpose."
But does it really? In today's day and age, we can be very busy doing this and that, going here and there, but does that mean that we are living lives of purpose? Or is that just an illusion?
Back in 2004, I stepped down from a very busy life of campus ministry. It was full of purpose, you might say. Most days of the week I had something significant to do. And yet, inside I was full of bitterness, anger, and rage. There was so much to do, but so little of me to do it! As a result, I had stretched myself too thin trying to do it all. (And I wasn't even doing it all!)
I suspect that I am not the only mom out there who experiences this. In fact, much of what you and I go through as mothers is probably not unique to us. In the speaking and discipling that I have done with women over the past few years, if I share something about my struggles, there is bound to be someone who tells me later, "That is exactly how I feel."
That is why I am going to embark on a new discovery this month called Sacred Rhythms, inspired by the book of the same name by Ruth Haley Barton. (That reminds me, I'll have to do a book review on it!) Mainly because I am not fully convinced that this is what God had in mind for us. Sure, we live in a time when we have incredible technology, many time-saving devices, and better health than ever before. And yet I have a sneaking suspicion that most of us are burnt out, dry and withered inside. If that describes you, I hope you'll join me as we learn to:
- find refreshment for your soul through making space in your life
- learning how to connect with God through the pathways of spiritual disciplines
- tune in to what God is doing in you and around you
- letting God rule and reign in your busy days
- connecting with God and finding joy in the ordinary duties of life
- learning to live within your limits instead of burning yourself out
- creating a "rhythm of life" or spiritual diet that is uniquely tailored to you
Which one of us couldn't use a life like that? God willing, I hope that at the end of the series, you will learn to see how making space for God will help you to walk through your busy days with peace, serenity and contentment. I am not talking about how to get more done in a day. In fact, it may seem counter-intuitive. But it is about asking God to number our days rightly so that we can walk in a heart of wisdom.
Where are you at today? Overwhelmed? Burnt out? Just plain tired? Then this study is just for you. I hope that in the process, you will find the rest for your soul that Jesus promises to all those who come to Him. (Matt. 11:28-30)
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