When You Feel Too Busy to Enjoy Life
"LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered — how fleeting my life is." Psalm 39:4 (NLT)
I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide.
Somehow in the rush of my crazy busy schedule and all the demands on my time and attention, I found myself in a crowded airport, realizing I had left my cell phone in the shuttle from the hotel. I asked the couple in front of me if I could borrow their phone so I could call my own phone and ask the shuttle driver to please return it to me.
As I dialed my number and waited for the shuttle driver to answer, an embarrassing thing happened: Right there in the airport, surrounded by people, my bra started ringing.
I had tucked my phone in my bra, totally forgotten about it, freaked out thinking I had lost it and then called it right there in line! (Can you even imagine?)
On the flight home, I worked hard to not make eye contact with anyone else and thought about how my life had become so exhaustingly busy.
"I have to get off the hamster wheel. I have to be made for more in my life than just running in circles. This busyness is breaking me."
My husband Mark and I have five sons, and at that point in our lives we were both working full time, leading a church small group, teaching on Sunday mornings, and if that weren’t enough, he even coached pee-wee football. On the outside we looked like a happy all-American family (or at least we did on Instagram and Facebook — isn’t that how it always is?) … but on the inside I was exhausted and burned out. And I was way too busy to actually enjoy life.
The crazy part of it all is that everything we were doing in our lives was, in itself, a good thing. But we had to admit to ourselves that doing all of it together at the same time was killing us.
Between our scheduled commitments, the little things that popped up daily and the needs of all five kids, we barely made time for ourselves, each other and God. Sure, we were serving and leading, but the mad-dash schedule of one thing after the next didn’t leave us with any room to rest or be restored. We were running on empty and had the frazzled nerves to prove it.
The Bible teaches us another way to live: to keep our hearts and our minds focused on the things that really matter in our lives.
The Psalmist said, "LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered — how fleeting my life is" (Psalm 39:4).
Just as we read in today’s key verse, being aware that my days are short helps me remember to focus on the things that bring real happiness, peace and purpose to my life: my relationship with Christ, my family and my relationships.
I’ve learned that by staying focused on the big things in life, I’m better at protecting my time from the little things that creep in and make my life crazy busy.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you’ve felt the demands of all those little things that seem so urgent in life? You want to finish your Bible study, but those piles of laundry must get done. You want to sit down at the end of a long day and read books to the little ones but your mind can’t get away from those work emails that need to get answered. The struggle is real.
I’ve learned the best way to keep my heart and mind focused is by keeping my to-do list focused as well.
Lord, help me keep fighting the good fight against busyness today. Remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Enable me to focus on the things You want me to do, not all the little things I worry about or think I should do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ephesians 5:15-16, "So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days." (NLT)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What activities can you put on hold (even if it is just for a season) to allow yourself more breathing room?