Since as far back as I can remember, I have had the bad habit of biting off more than I could chew. I can even recall answering “yes” to two simultaneous play date invitations when I was nine-years-old because I wanted to be both places at once!
Yes, I have perpetually taken on too many tasks, opportunities and even ministries and figured I’d get them done one way or another. With my Type A/Eagle personality, I usually do – by the skin of my teeth – get the tasks done. However, that overwhelmed frazzled too-much-on-my-plate feeling eventually take its toll in the form of sleeplessness, acid reflux, grey hair and anxiety.
Surely, this is not the way God wants me or any of us to live.
So, in this fast paced world we’ve been plunked down in, how do we stop ourselves?
I have been deeply moved by the national “IT CAN WAIT” campaign. In the high school where I teach, students were asked to sign the pledge not to text while driving, knowing, that whatever it is – IT CAN WAIT.
It’s horrifying to think that lives have been lost because of our need, our compulsion to reply, reply, reply instantaneously. The next time you’re at a stoplight, take a look at what the cars crossing the intersection are doing. Lately, when I’ve done this, I’ve noticed that one out of two drivers have both eyes on a phone. It’s a wonder there aren’t more accidents.
My question this week is this: Should the “IT CAN WAIT” slogan be applied to other areas of our hectic lives? Should we press the off button and take a moment to shut out all of the dings, belles and pings in order to hear the still, small voice? The One who wants to make us lie down in green pastures. And lead us beside the still waters.
While there are many takes and reactions to the comments made by Pope Francis in his interview last week, I think all can agree that he seemed to ask a question worth pondering: Does our tunnel vision over one issue – even if it’s a righteous one- get in the way of our first and foremost call – to be sharers of the Gospel and ministers of grace? That is, if we become so involved in a cause that we foam at the mouth over anyone who challenges it or if we become all too comfortable taking the “wag your finger” stance at those who make choices we believe run contrary to church doctrine, can we actually live out the Great Commission? Can we retain the fragrance of the Gospel? It’s something worth grappling over.
Likewise, can the chronic busyness of our lives, keep us from knowing the peace of Christ and from ministering to others with it?
If an instant really can change a life, I sure don’t want to miss those instances that change a life for the better.
Slowing down is not something that comes naturally to me, but I’m going to have to try.
What about you? Have you found ways to stop ward off the hecticness?
For more info. on Beth Webb Hart and her novels go to www.bethwebbhart.com