You say there’s never enough time? Does it feel as though some secret agency has hired you to be a Master juggler? Do you feel the pressure that comes with trying to keep every ball in the air? Does it feel like time is passing you by, while you spend your time putting out fires? Have you ever said, “There’s got to be more to life than this?”
Are you certain that God wants your life to be more peaceful and stress-free? If this sounds like you or someone you know, there is good news! God is a great teacher of how to balance time and juggle priorities. He’s teaching me. Perhaps what I’m learning may also be beneficial to you.
I grew up in a household with two very busy parents who were always ‘doing’. As a pastor, my father’s obligations to the membership were great. He had counseling sessions, funerals, hospital visits, nursing home visits, weddings, community meetings, church meetings, ministerial meetings, district meetings, and more meetings, just to mention a few. Consequently, he would often miss my extracurricular events.
Looking back, I realize that it was not that my father didn’t love me; because truly he did. He was so busy because that was the best way that he knew to handle all of the responsibilities that came with pastoral ministry. My dad loved the people that God has assigned him to shepherd so much that he didn’t want to disappoint them or God, so he felt compelled to go. He took and still takes his responsibilities as an under-shepherd very seriously. Back in those days, my mother would make sure that she was there to give parental support and represent them both. I can’t remember any activity that I was in, (and I was in a lot), that she wasn’t cheering me (or my sister or brother) on from the audience. She did this while being a pastor’s wife, which had its own list of responsibilities. These duties did not include her roles of Public School teacher, Sunday School teacher, and choir member, etc.
Yep, I came from a loving, ‘doing’ family.
What was one thing that I learned from watching them? I learned to be a doer as well. Cram every possible moment with ‘doing’. That was my motto. Find a space of time that was empty and fill it. I mean you never knew when Jesus was coming back. You never knew if this day would be your last, so you’d better use every minute to accomplish something. That was my thinking. If you sat down too long, you were being lazy; missing the moment; throwing away time you couldn’t get back.
I worked two very demanding jobs for more than twenty years. What’s even worse, at one point in my life, I was working those jobs, going to grad school full-time, rehearsing in a trio, trying to take care of two children, and still have a marriage. I lived in the city and commuted sometimes twice a day to the suburbs. I carried overnight bags in the trunk of my car, in case I was too exhausted to drive home.
Usually, I tried to make it home, regardless of how tired I was or how late the evening was. I tried to use the ‘extra time’ I had while driving on the expressway as homework drill time for my children and it was our devotion time. Needless to say, I was always anxious that I was going to forget something important or not have enough energy to keep the balls in the air much longer. Back in those days, I went to bed regularly around midnight or later and tried to get up each morning to do a little housework before I went to work. I did not know how to say the word “no” to other people, so my body would say it for me. I would go until I dropped.
Now is the perfect time for you to ask me,
“ How was that working for you?”
Well, let me put it this way…
I’ll tell you what God revealed to me next time. Have a blessed day and enjoy the journey!
Scriptures to consider: Matthew 11:28, 29 [NIV] “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Proverbs 3:5, 6 [NIV] Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Today’s questions – Are you juggling too much? If the answer is ‘yes’ then the next question is why?
© 2009 God’s Perspective Publishing
This post has been republished from the archives in case you missed it.
You won’t want to miss Balance – Part 2 of Enjoying the Journey3!