Updated: Jan 29, 2022
Have you ever had a strong desire to do something, but you just couldn't see how? Several years ago God really put it on my heart to work with young adults from vulnerable situations (homelessness, foster care, etc.) and to recognize that as they transition into adulthood, they don't have the foundation they need for guidance and support. I didn't know what this looked like or what He would have me do, He simply broke my heart for it.
I wrestled with this for a few years. What should I do? How? Where do I get plugged in? What do I create? And the biggest obstacle of them all: WHEN? When am I to do this, when I work very long hours that completely consume my energy. How am I supposed to work this in? Then it hit me like a lightning bolt: God's work is not supposed to be "worked in." We aren't supposed to give Him what's left over. No matter how aligned my heart was with His, I couldn't execute because I was too busy.
Friends, I'm not talking about finding time in the "scheduled-to-the-brim" busy. This is bigger than time. It's having brain capacity to do more when my brain is completely exhausted and my soul hasn't been fed in years. Even if the calendar appears to have plenty of room, it's only one dimension. My entire being was already full, and the label we all use for that is "busy."
This is why many well-meaning sermons on being too busy often fail us. Those sermons often only consider how we are spending our time and encourage us to allocate the appropriate portion to God. Our human selves try to manage the guilt and figure out how to change our calendar around to incorporate volunteering, serving, or anything else that frankly, is just changing the "busy" from one thing to another that we deem more noble.
This is why it rarely works. We're unintentionally guilting tired, overwhelmed people into rearranging their time for better priorities when it's alignment of the heart and fulfillment of the soul that is needed first. Once you are aligned, THEN you can take action and He makes it easy. Otherwise, it's just calendar gymnastics that leave you feeling more stressed than ever, along with not being or doing "enough."
In my case, He had a drastic request: Remove the one thing blocking me from actually working on HIS plan. Gulp - my job. Um, what? That's right - if my current way of earning a living leaves me unavailable, then get rid of it. That is not what He wants for me. Like Peter heading for Jesus in the storm, I had to first get out of the boat and completely rely on faith from there.
<<Disclaimer: this was His request of ME. Please do not collectively storm your employers' offices and create upheaval. He may actually WANT you where you are.>>
What is the point? God wants to use you. He wants to use me, too. It's up to each of us to communicate with Him in a way that allows us to understand what He wants to use each of us for, without comparing our assignment to others. I've known for a long time that God uses broken people. There are countless examples in scripture, so don't be discouraged if you're broken. You CAN live in victory and He CAN use you for good.
Conversely, I've never come across examples of God using busy people. In fact, the Bible tells us repeatedly to be still and to rest in Him. Jesus is our living example and His schedule reflected the heart of God's work alongside necessary rest. He even corrected Martha's busy nature since she was not able to hear His voice amidst her current worries.
We need to stop worrying if we're good enough and start focusing on being available enough. God uses broken people, not busy ones.
Folks, this is a long post. If you're still hanging with me, there's a reason. Maybe, just maybe, He wants your attention. Maybe you feel it in your soul that something is not aligned and you were meant for more. It doesn't have to be a radical change and it's not about what you "should" be doing. Sit in it for a while. And if you're struggling with it, give me a call and I'll grab us some coffee and sit in it with you.
Our culture glorifies busy and criticizes broken. Flip those around, friends. It feels good.