The holidays are fast approaching. Thanksgiving is in less than two weeks, Christmas is next month, and before we know it, it will be 2012. It’s a great time of year – a time to pause, give thanks for our blessings, enjoy some downtime, reflect, and make resolutions. Right?! The truth of the matter is this time of year is usually insanely busy. Ours schedules fill up quickly with shopping, parties, family functions, church events, etc. etc. (By the way the Swaffords are hosting Thanksgiving this year!) By the end of the year we all need a vacation.
Busyness is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, and I think God is convicting me in this area. The clock and I have been at odds for many a year now! The fact of the matter is, I’ve been too busy for too long, and this year has been especially bad. I always think it will ‘get better’, but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it won’t – not by itself anyway. I’m going to have to make some decisions and be proactive about making it better.
Luke 10:41-42 says “But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her.’”
The context here is that Martha is busy doing “all the work that had to be done,” while Mary is sitting around listening to Jesus. Martha is upset that her sister isn’t helping her out. And to be honest, being the type A personality that I am, I completely sympathize with Martha! What does Jesus mean when He says “only one thing is important?” Why doesn’t Mary get up and help out? I think what Jesus is saying here is that we have to establish some priorities.
When I look at my own schedule, it’s filled with the typical stuff – work, Cub Scouts, and being a Sunday school teacher would have to be the top three. There’s really nothing that I can point to and say “I should cut that out.” Obviously I have to work. Someone has to lead the Cub Scout den. Someone has to teach. But at the same time, I know I haven’t spent enough time with God, or my wife Amy, or my family. I need a little more balance.
So, decision number one – I am going to work a bit less. I know it sounds crazy to put a statement like that on what is supposed to be a business site, but there it is. I typically work 50+ hour weeks, and I’m going to cut back some. This week I told my former employer, who I was doing some ‘side work’ for, that I won’t be doing any development work for him for a while. I left that job nearly a year ago and have been doing from 25-40 hours a month for them ever since – on top of my ‘full time’ contracting gig. Now I’m going to focus exclusively on my full time contract and spend a little more time with family.
I’m not going to kid myself as far as holiday busyness is concerned. But just having a biblically based plan to get my priorities in order makes me feel better already.