Oh, everything is getting crazy now. Whether its back to uni or surviving freshers, everything seems to be in full swing. Classes have started, clubs have begun, and suddenly it seems difficult to find a moment’s peace, a moment’s rest. And I don’t know about you, but I love to be busy. I love to feel needed and productive, love meeting up with people, and being involved in clubs and groups. Often, I overestimate my ability to juggle everything and I burn out, I have emotional meltdowns— I crash and burn.
Sound familiar? I think its part of our fear of missing out—so we pack our days so full that we don’t have any time to stop. But the irony is that in being so busy because we are a afraid of missing out, we actually miss out on what God wants to do in our lives. We have no time for people unless its scheduled in, no time to really cry out to God for certain things He has placed on our hearts, because we are so busy.
I remember being asked by one of my wise mentors in uni, what is the one thing God is calling me to focus on now? I might like lots of things and enjoy being involved in all these groups, but life comes in seasons and we cannot always do everything we want to all the time. So what is the thing that God is really calling me to invest in now, in this season? And its not that other things are bad, usually they are good things, but the good should not crowd out the best. By nature, investing in something means less time to spend elsewhere, meaning we must make decisions. We must say no to other good things.
We can get so caught up in good things that we lose sight of the main thing. We lose sight of developing our personal relationship with God because we are so focused on all the meetings we have where we talk about God. How can we keep the main thing the main thing if we never have any time to spend in God’s presence, in His Word?
We need to get comfortable with saying no, with protecting rest time, with creating margins in our lives. Not because we are selfish, but because we need to be recharged with the truth. We need time to process and reflect if we are to grow. If we build in free time we can give it freely to people who need to chat, need to be encouraged. We can listen and respond to the Spirit’s promptings.
And we’re not building in lazy time, but the freedom to rest in whatever way we need. If that’s journalling, or exercising, or napping, or meditating on the Word, or reading a book, or playing music or having a relaxed morning or evening. God calls us to give Him our stress and rest in Him.
I was reading a blog this week and really challenged by what Ann Voskamp wrote, “God doesn’t want your leftovers. God wants your love overtures, your first-overs, because He is your first love.” Are we building in time to give God our first-overs or leaving Him with the leftovers of our days? He doesn’t call us to get involved in every Christian activity--He calls us to spend time with Him and be faithful to what He is calling us to in the now.
Monica Godfrey is a Student Forgee who came to the Belfrey while pursuing her masters in modern literature at York Uni.