I have been busy lately. There are just so many tasks on my to-do list, and it seems like I will never finish them. My sons and husband give me much to do, some of which I like to do. However, I have added things to my list that may, for some, be viewed as being for the sake of being busy. It’s almost as though I am trying to keep myself busy so that I don’t have time to be still. But at the same time, I am trying to keep myself busy so that I don’t do something that I don’t want to do. In essence, there are two sides that are equally positive.
On the one hand, I continue to place tasks on my list so that I don’t slow down and dwell on past events. There is just too much pain involved with going through the various trials that I have endured whether they be by my own doing or by another’s actions. The cancer diagnosis was the good part; the effects of the cancer before diagnosis were the horrendous part of the situation. My marriage nearly terminated then. My son nearly terminated then. Honestly, I nearly terminated during that time. I was barely hanging on to sanity, hope, and love.
On the other hand, I increase my tasks list to keep myself from thinking about what could have been. This keeps me from living in the past. Yes, I could have handled a situation differently, and I have learned from that mistake and sought forgiveness. But I cannot go back. I can only go forward. Also, adding specific growth tasks keeps me from being stagnant or worse, reverting to old habits and ways. It’s like when I quit smoking. After asking God for help, I learned how to crochet. This aided in keeping my hands busy so as not to go back to smoking. I have a reading plan that I employ at the beginning of every year to go through the Bible. In addition to that, I have various household tasks that I do on a scheduled kind of routine. On a certain day I mop, and on another day I change all of the sheets from off of the beds. That sort of thing.
One of the ways in which I grow is by meditating, which, for me, is the precursor to a deep, prayerful conversation with God. I pray throughout the day, don’t get me wrong. However, just as in a healthy marriage, we have moments, usually for me at the end of the day, when we have a conversation about how our days were and what events happened. But also in that relational conversation, we talk about our thoughts, opinions, ideas, and feelings. I let my husband in on my insecurities, and he in turn does the same. We value each other and feel safe with each other. That is how it is when I add meditation before a deep and more meaningful conversation with my Father and Redeemer.
Meditation also comes after reading God’s Word and soaking in it. There have been many times that I will read a portion of Scripture, and something will draw my attention to it like a magnet. I will usually try to read past it, but it will pull me right back to it. That is when I will write it out, or I will sit with it, thinking about different way its truth has, is, or will impact my thoughts and actions in relation to those around me. If I am able, I attempt to expound on it with resources within and outside of Scripture only after asking for God’s wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 1:1=2 "Great blessings belong to those who don't listen to evil advice, who don't live like sinners, and who don't join those who make fun of God. Instead, they love the LORD's teachings and think about them day and night."
Matthew 6:6 "But when you pray, you should go into your room and close the door. Then pray to your Father. He is there in that private place. He can see what is done in private, and he will reward you."
Philippians 4:8-9 "Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. And do what you learned and received from me - what I told you and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you."
And here is a good one that captures a glimpse the inner workings of my mind. My soul resonates with this verse because I simply love and adore Him. I want to be in His presence all of the time. So like a lovesick bride, I think about my Groom – God – all of the time.
Psalm 63:6 "I remember you while lying on my bed. I think about you in the middle of the night."
In these verses, it has to do more with my thought patterns than the physical act of doing specific tasks. However, actions first begin as thoughts usually. That is just how life works. The most important action I could perform is building my relationships. The number one relationship is that of me and God. However, the relationship I have with God is reflected in my relationship with others. I cannot say that I love God and yet treat others with an ugliness and hurtfulness that God Himself does not do and commands for us not to do. Jesus very clearly said, “Love your neighbor.”
Matthew 22:37-40 "Jesus answered, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: Love others the same as you love yourself. All of the law and the writings of the prophets take their meaning from these two commands.'"
That sure was a long way around saying that I keep busy to keep out of trouble and to keep it moving. There are many things I do for the sake of others. However, while doing for others, I am keeping myself from devolving into a selfish mass of flesh. I really want to be the good and see the good. I need help in this everyday. I am relentlessly pursuing the truth.
Proverbs 1:7 "Knowledge begins with fear and respect for the Lord, but stubborn fools hate wisdom and refuse to learn."
I have been a stubborn fool, and in some areas of my life, I still am. However, I am searching Him out. I love, honor, respect, and fear God. And in order to get my lump of selfish flesh to continue in the right direction, I have to put tasks on my to-do list that are honoring to God and helpful to others. Hopefully, you, too, will join me in marking off this task from our list.
Gotta go fill up my cup…..