Pursuing Christ, Together

Sunday Mornings

9:15am: Children’s, youth, & adult programs
10:30am: Worship & children’s programs (birth-5th grade)*

*On the 1st Sunday of each month, K-5th grade kids
join the adults in the Sanctuary for Family Worship.

Staff meeting devotional Sept. 1, 2015

“Stop the Glorification of Busy”

I want to start out and be honest. My personal devotional life lately has been very lacking. I have let myself get caught up in the busyness of this time of year and have a nice list of excuses. A friend of mine posted this quote on social media the other day and it HIT me between the eyes: “Stop the glorification of busy.” Wow! I am so guilty of this. Am I really too busy to find time each day to spend with Him!?! And if I am, then I seriously need to make a shift in my priorities.

Why are we all trying to get our fix from being busy rather than from spending time with the One who created us especially when He promises things like peace and joy when we seek Him?

John 14:27 says it very well, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

And my favorite, Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

I have been reading a book recommended to me by a friend who is my personal book critic. It is called Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, by Sara Hagerty. In it she shares her story of infertility which lead her and her husband to international adoption but the main concept is how even hard things that we face are sweet because they stretch us and teach us. A quote from the book that I have been bouncing around in my head is, “Even though I spend my days telling others about Him, most of my repertoire was memories.” When I get caught up in the busies, that’s what I do. I feel like I can get stuck in depending on my memories of my past walk with Christ to get me through and that causes me to fall deeper into the “I’m too busy” excuse.

God doesn’t want us to fall back on our memories of Him and his goodness. He wants us to daily pursue him so our faith is fresh and new. This reminds me of Revelations 3:15-17: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Getting caught up in the busyness of our roles can cause us to lose focus on our own journey. We get busy and get caught up in the journey of those we serve.

One section of the book opened my eyes to the role that I have here at ECC, or the role that God has called me to, the role he has called each of us to. She talks about Adam and what his role was in the early days after creation.

Just like God partnered with Adam right after the days of creation, He wants us to partner with him. We are each called to a specific role here at ECC and sometimes we get so caught up in crossing t’s and dotting i’s that we fail to remember we are partnering with God to reach this community. We each have an important role in that partnership. And specifically because of our roles which come with so much STUFF TO DO, SO MUCH BUSYNESS, I think we can all safely admit that we are not protecting our time with Him.

I love the phrase used in the book, “Adam was invited into Heavenly discourse.” The definition of discourse is written or spoken communication or debate. Synonyms are discussion, conversation, talk, dialogue, consultation. We are also invited into this same Heavenly dialogue. We can’t physically walk and talk with God as Adam did in the garden, but we can on a spiritual level. In our partnership with him, He longs for us to converse, talk, dialogue, consult Him on the things that we are doing in our roles. How are we reaching the people He brings to us each day? Are we praying for them each day and asking Him how we can better reach them? Are we asking Him to point us to the ones who need extra from us?

I Corinthians 3:6-9 says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service.” This isn’t about us, it’s about Him and what He is doing. If I am too busy to spend time with Him, how will I see the plan He has for my ministry?

Adam painted color into the story of creation and he did it with confidence. Can you imagine living in the garden in that kind of confidence? It was Adam’s natural state of being, confident. He didn’t know any other way to be. He didn’t know fear, frustration, disappointment, anger. I know I struggle with feeling confident in my role in God’s story. My natural state of being is typically feeling doubtful. But God has called me to paint color into the story with confidence from knowing I am passionately loved by my creator. Each of us is called to paint color into God’s story here at ECC. We need to fight to find Him in all of the moments put in front of us, the good ones and the bad.

Another thought that Sara shared in her book regarding motherhood but could be used in any context is that if my chief end as a mother, father, pastor, counselor, secretary, business manager, etc. is anything less than knowing Him and carrying his glory in my life, I will walk through these years EMPTY.” James 4:8 give us the promise that if we draw near to him, he will draw near to us. That doesn’t sound like a place of emptiness.

I love the passage found in I Kings 19:11-13: “And he said, ‘The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”

I love the visual this passage gives me. Winds and earthquakes, like busyness, cause chaos and destruction but in the quiet and peace which is the opposite of busyness came a gentle whisper, the voice of God speaking to us.

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