I am not one who would often be accused of being a workaholic. Growing up with two workaholic parents instilled in me an appreciation for finding a balance in life between hard work and leisure.
Still, that doesn't prevent me from occasionally running myself ragged, and the last two weeks have been a prime example. Here at Back to God Ministries, we've been getting ready for an important trade show that we attend every year. This has required me to put in a lot of long days, often working late into the night, to make sure that everything is in order for the show. I'm stressed out, tired, not sleeping well, not eating well, and overall just ready for the whole thing to be over.
In the midst of all this, last Sunday, my pastor taught a lesson on one of his favorite spiritual disciplines: solitude and silence. At the end of his message, he challenged us all to dedicate 6 hours (in a row) to solitude and silence some time this week. At least 6 hours--though 24 would be better.
Internally, I scoffed. If only you knew what kind of week I'm having, you wouldn't ask me to do this.
"I know what most of you are thinking," he said.
"You're thinking, if only you knew what kind of week I'm having, you'd know that I can't do that. I'm too busy to sit silently for 6 minutes, let alone 6 hours."
Then he said something that really made me question my prioritizing.
"Everything that is making you busy, everything that takes up your time--those are all good things. But God has more for us. Sometimes, we need to set aside the good things and spend time doing the best things." He went on to challenge us to trust that God would allow us to get everything done, even while giving up 6 hours to silence and solitude.
I'll admit, even after all that, I wasn't able to give it up. We leave for the trade show tomorrow morning, and I haven't slowed down for longer than 5 minutes yet. But it is certainly on my mind. How can I find a balance between the good and the best? Can I really trust God with 6 hours of my time, even when, logically, I know that I have very few minutes to spare?
How do you find meaningful time for God and his "best things" when your work, your family or your daily tasks are demanding every second of your day?