A business contact ask this question in a survey:

Relating to ‘blogging’ – tell me one thing that would enhance the way you presently take your message to the customer. What is it right now that you can’t do, or aren’t doing, that would totally motivate you and bring your customers closer?

My answer came pretty quickly because I’ve been thinking about it for awhile:

I would like to have the equipment, software and knowledge/capability to do web videos well. I’d like to add greeting, motivational, teaching and “how to” videos to my company website and my ministry blog.

As I typed the last word of my answer, I realized that it wasn’t really the true answer. So I added this as a second paragraph:

That’s the practical answer – the real answer is probably the time to learn and implement it!

And when I typed the last word to that answer…God spoke to me. He whispered into my mind what we’ve heard over and over again –

“You make time for those things you consider most important. What are you choosing to make time for?”

Yes, I’ve heard it many times, but hearing it from God carries a little more weight (yeah, like a LOT more weight!).

This was not a condemnation, it was a gentle reminder. I serve a God who allows me ample time for rest (in fact He’d like me to take a whole day out of every seven to rest, enjoy His presence and His creation – but that’s another blog). He’s not a relentless task master. He wants me to live purposefully, choosing to spend my time wisely. Yet I easily fall into letting the urgent overtake the important.

Falling a step further, I develop the mindset that accepts the premise that I am too busy to do _____________ (fill in the blank with the pressure of unfulfilled tasks and dreams). Holding to that premise brings unnecessary pressure and irresponsible relief.

The Burden of Busy-ness
Living under the belief that I am too busy for _____________ brings with it a condemnation, a heaviness, and ultimately a weariness. There are so many things I want to do, but I am too busy to do them. The mindset says I am always too busy…so I quit adding fun and adventure to my calendar or list of things to do. It might be a business adventure, an adventure with God, or fun with family and friends – they all fall into the pit of “I’m too busy.” So my life becomes smaller – full of doing more of the same things because there’s surely  no time to add new and different things.

Science teaches us that emotional experiences (both positive and negative) release norepinephrine into our brains which enhances our brains’ ability to make connections – in other words, adventures make us smarter!  But when I’m too busy for an adventure, my world shrinks and shrinks and shrinks – physically, emotionally and eventually mentally. Pretty soon I’m too tired and too depressed to think of anything fun and adventurous to do.

The Convenient Excuse of Busy-ness
Conversely, living under the belief that I am too busy for _____________ also carries with it the constantly available and convenient excuse that releases me from any new obligations. When “I’m too busy” becomes my automatic response, I not only pass up the opportunities for adventures, I also pass up the opportunities to serve others – especially when it would be inconvenient to do so. They fly by without me intentionally giving them consideration. I become the priest or Levite who walked by the man who had been beaten and left half dead instead of being the good Samaritan who spent some of his time and money to help the man (Luke 10:30-37). The priest and Levite, perhaps because they were too caught up in their own lives, missed the opportunity to be the hands of Jesus extended to the man. I miss opportunities to be Christ to those people God puts in my life when “I’m too busy” is my constant thought companion. And my life becomes smaller in the process.

A Full Life
My life is never bigger and fuller than when I am fulfilling God’s purposes for me on this earth. When I own the perspective that I am always too busy, I miss those purposes and my life becomes wearisome. Today’s question on a business survey – or rather my response to it – reminded me that I don’t want to live out of the “I don’t have time for that” mantra. Beginning today, I am hoping to change my thought patterns to consider opportunities and reject or accept them based on God’s plans, not my schedule. I hope to strike the phrase “I’m too busy” from my mental responses and replace it with “Yes, let’s do it!” or “That sounds great, but it’s not God’s best for me right now.”

I think Moses faced the same challenge. He is the writer of Psalm 90. Here’s verse 12 in two different translations:

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

Teach us to make the most of our time,
so that we may grow in wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 (NLT)

That’s my prayer today. Lord – teach me to make the most of my time so that I might grow in wisdom. Remove the “I’m too busy” perspective, the “I don’t have time” drag on my life and replace it with a sense of adventure, discovering Your purposes for each day and pursuing them with an undivided heart.

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