Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
A busy man was getting very stressed at work. It was all too much. Life was getting the better of him. So he decided it was time to visit his GP.
He arrived at the surgery right on time, rushed in, and shook the doctor’s hand. Now look, doc. I want to learn how to relax. But I want to relax better and faster than anyone else has ever relaxed before. He certainly knew what he wanted, but that’s not what the doctor was thinking. He needed somehow to switch off a bit, and learn to relax.
How often do we stop and take time to think of the deeper issues of life? Not all that often it seems—we fill our lives with stuff, every day, with a busy activity. I’ve even heard someone say, I need eight, not seven days-a-week to get everything done. Our world encourages you and me to go for whatever is faster, newer, bigger. Get the latest smart phone—it will make life better. But is that true? I doubt it.
Are You Always Rushed?
We seem to crave speed. The workaholic says, A little exhaustion won’t hurt anybody—others will admire me. It’s worth a pat on the back. Are you always rushed? Do you become annoyed when someone wants to talk with you, and you don’t have time to waste? Life can be full of stress, and over-complicated. You’d like to slow down but it’s impossible. In our busy 21st-century lifestyles, our days are filled to the brim and overflowing with all kinds of obligations and responsibilities.
There’s even a book out called One-Minute Bedtime Stories for parents who are short of time. That’s a concern. We must make adequate time for our kids. We are all riding on a very fast train that is travelling down a predetermined track, gathering speed as it goes, and we have been on it for a long time. Many of us want to slow down; some want to get off the train. Others are so used to the speed that they don’t notice it. The few who love the speed are the only ones who get their way. Most of us stare blankly out of the window, barely seeing the world flying by and feeling helpless. (Stopping, David Kundtz, Newleaf, 1998).
The great Mahatma Gandhi was a busy and influential man. But the famous 1946 photo of him at the spinning wheel, a symbol of simplicity and peace, was powerful. He knew the need for silence and stillness. Thomas Moore wrote Care of the Soul and said, “Living artfully with time might only require something as simple as pausing”. There’s nothing wrong with silence. Take time to have a break and spend it with God.
Do You Live a Hurried Life?
If your life is full of noise and hurry, you won’t be able to hear the gentle voice of a loving God speaking to you. You don’t have to sit in a cathedral or church to meet with God. You can wait in your car for 10 minutes if that helps. Kirk Byron Jones, in his book Addicted to Hurry, says that the result of our hurried lives is that we don’t see clearly, we don’t listen carefully, we don’t think deeply and we don’t savour life fully.
Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by
The fault doesn’t lie with time itself. We do have the time. God gives us all the time that we need to do everything that is important. Time is a gift from God. He gives us the time to enjoy ourselves. God gives us time to work, to worship, to pray, to spend with our families, to serve and help others, to witness to others about Jesus before time runs out. As the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). God gives us adequate time to do everything that is important.
You don’t have to sit in a cathedral or church to meet with God.
When we get really busy we don’t see clearly the things that are often the most important and the things that are right in front of us. Billy Graham tells the story of when he was out in LA doing his first round of revivals. His daughter Ruth had just been born and he had left her and his wife back at home. During the revivals Billy’s family came to visit him and when he saw his sister-in-law holding his own daughter Ruth he asked her who the baby was. He was so busy that he didn’t even recognise his own child.
Before we get too critical of Billy Graham, the truth is we can all get so busy that we don’t see the needs of our family and friends who are right in front of us. We can get so busy with our own schedules and activities that we don’t see the hurt or disappointment in the eyes of those who need us. We can get so busy that we fail to see the beauty God placed in the world around us.