How enormous a challenge it is to remain at peace in this fast paced life, where ironically the pressure to produce can often be paralyzing. Even as I write this, the whirlwind of worry within my mind swirls violently, threatening to rob me of the peace that is.
Mr. Fillmore & The Great Abyss (Never Enough)
My appetite to achieve has become an abyss, chasing dreams through revolving doors.
Life can sometimes feel like a long list of things to do, a mere checklist of mundane matters. Too often, regardless of how much we do, we are left feeling like it just isn’t enough, and truth is… It isn’t. From our daily tasks, to our life long dreams, all these things although potentially necessary and good, will never satisfy our hunger for completion, and perfect peace. So how do we conquer the conundrum of the never-ending to do list? If instead of dwelling on all these things we need, and want to do, we focus more on the one calling, and empowering us to do them; we will then discover the peace, and fulfillment we desire. Thus filling a God sized void with only that which can fill it; God.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.
A Busy Life Isn’t Necessarily an Effective Life (Avoiding Powerlessness)
Press pause, unplug, pray, repeat.
So much to do, so much to do. How much of what we do has any power? Impact? Lasting impression? How much of what we do is fruitful, and effective? How much of what we do is in vain, and with selfish ambition? Ouch. Yeah, these are challenging questions, but in order for us to live to our fullest potential we have to examine our lives and determine the areas that need improvement. How much of what we do is simply excess that can be eliminated? A busy life isn’t necessarily an effective life, but a prayerful life is. The power, and productivity is in prayer. We need to unplug from everything going on around us, quiet our mind, and just be still. When we spend quiet time in prayer, and in the scriptures we are refreshed, and better prepared for the busyness of life.
Mark 6:31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Mark 9:28-29 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, why could we not cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
Joy on The Job
Determining what’s most important, is most important.
I used to feel so uninterested, and unenthused at my previous day job. It was such a chore, and really burdensome. Until I asked myself, why am I here? Why am I doing all these things? Initially the answer was, to get paid, but that answer didn’t cut it. When I pondered the question further, but this time from a biblical perspective I realized that I was there for something far more important than a pay check. I was there to shine a light, and share the love of God with the people I interacted with on a daily basis. Remembering my purpose got me through some really challenging times on that job. Take a look at your to do list, and try to view it from a biblical perspective. Why are we doing all these things? Things related to our family, our home, our marriage, our friends, our jobs, our church, ministry, our business, our art. Grumbling, and complaining is an indicator that I have forgotten my purpose, and need to pause, unplug, pray, and repeat. We can have joy on any job, any task at hand, whether it’s doing the laundry or writing a song, inputting data at work, or sweeping the church floor. There is great purpose in all these things. Getting up early to take the kids to school can be a drag, or it can be an opportunity to pour into the kids words of wisdom and encouragement that will help them throughout the day. Remember joy and happiness are not the same. I am not suggesting that we bounce around smiling and whistling all day every day, but what I am suggesting is that we can have peace, and joy amidst all these things that we want, and need to do, when we remember to seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. After all, what is always most important is that God’s will be fulfilled in and through us.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well
Here’s a link to the slides from the sermon I gave on this same subject. “All These Things” (Work Hard Pray Harder)
Here is a fun song that gives us a fresh perspective on all these things we do.