There is no doubt that our lives have changed in some significant ways. One of the most notable in my mind is the change to our schedules. Just one month ago I was living by a well-defined schedule including busy nights and slow nights and meal planning around what time we had to be out the door for activities. So many people live as though juggling to keep a busy schedule is a gift or skill that others should envy, all the while seeming frantic to keep every ball in the air. Is this you? Have you been so frantic to manage day to day that the addition of anything new seems like crazy talk. In general, we have been a society that lives by busy.
Just one year ago, I wrote an article about some of the things that hold us back from discipling kids at home. Based on years of conversations I can confidently say that time is a barrier. https://www.awanacanada.ca/en/blog/why-we-hold-back-the-challenge-of-discipleship-at-home/
When it comes to actively engaging in discipleship at home there is a dangerous combination that begins with not knowing where to start and not having time to do it.
Now our hyper-busy lives have been put on hold. There are still busy people (especially health care workers, thank you!), but the one thing most people have in common right now is time together. What are you able to do now that you weren’t able to do a month ago? What habits will you change in the weeks and possibly months ahead? What will your home and family look like on the other side of COVID-19? What will you do with your unprecedented gap in busy? Is this an opportunity or an inconvenience?
Jesus calms the storm, gives rest to the weary, teaches those that stop to listen. Consider these verses.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” All he asks is that you come to him. There is no 10-step program to follow or list of tasks to complete. When it comes to leaning into Jesus you can let all the work of “doing” go.
Luke 10:38-42 Jesus enters the home of Martha who gets busy serving Jesus. Her sister sits at the feet of Jesus listening to his teaching. I think that Martha is jealous that her sister Mary is with Jesus while she does all the work. She is too busy and probably thinks that everyone else should be busy too. Isn’t serving and “doing” more valuable than sitting? Jesus responds “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Psalm 46:10 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” and verse 10, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” When we busy ourselves with anything other than knowing God, don’t we risk missing his help? To me a real belief in God as my refuge and strength means that I go to him at the beginning, middle and end of my day. God is my greatest weapon in times of war and he is my rest when I am weary.
Families are finding more time together right now. How are you going to use that time? Don’t stress about knowing where to start. A perfect place to start would be a consideration of what God says about time and priorities. Ask yourself this question, if God could order each minute of my family’s day, what would it look like?
If you need a place to start, try this. Pick one simple verse, let’s say Luke 12:25 - “Who of you can add a single hour to your life by worrying,” then ask these two simple questions. What is God trying to tell us in this verse, and finally, how should this verse change us?
We hope that when this pandemic is over, the result is positive and lasting change in your family. We imagine families that have grown closer to God and closer together because they have “busied” themselves with what really matters.