Are you feeling squeezed and overwhelmed? Like you have more to do than time to do it? Do you ever feel a strong desire to chuck it all—your computer, day planner, every clock in the vicinity?
Life rarely plays out as we plan, and sometimes we’re forced to scramble, but hectic, over-scheduled living should be a season, not a way of life. If we’ve become comfortable multi-tasking on high doses of caffeine, chances are we’ve taken on more than God has assigned.
The Christ-centered life should be characterized by joy and peace, not frantic stress.
I’m an easily bored doer by nature, which means it’s easy for me to jam my schedule full of all kinds of wonderful things. Very good, kingdom building things. Things that, if not done in obedience to Christ, leave me enslaved to my schedule and thus crowding out what’s most important—surrender.
Because even good things can keep us from God’s best—for us, our ministries and our families.
So what do we do when we begin to feel as if life, rather than Jesus, has taken control?
1. We begin with prayer.
We pray for clarity and the courage to follow through—for the courage to listen for God’s guidance with a heart set on obedience.
Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”
In other words, God will guide you toward His will, and His will for us is better than anything we can dream up on our own. His role is to guide, and ours is to “carefully determine what pleases the Lord” (Eph. 5:10), “not acting thoughtlessly, but rather, understanding what the Lord wants you to do” (Eph. 5:17) and doing it.
I suspect, as many of us evaluate our schedules, our thoughts will narrow on certain responsibilities—commitments made from guilt or obligation rather than Christ-focused obedience.
2. Determine to put our desire to please Christ above people-pleasing.
Are you attempting to gain value apart from your identity in Christ? Have you allowed your children’s schedules, and thus unhealthy focus on them, to dominate? (Our kids are meant to be blessings, not gods. Moreover, we’re responsible for teaching them well—showing them, in what we allow and say no to, how to prioritize time with Christ. If their schedule prevents us from having a daily quiet time with Jesus or engaging in faith-building activities, we’re sending them the wrong message.)
3. Schedule the most important things into our day.
Why is it when time is short, my top priorities—time with Jesus and my family—seem to slide. Prayer, Bible reading, building into my most important relationships, and developing a listening ear with a surrendered heart—those things don’t simply happen. I need to make room for them. I need to intentionally schedule them into my day or they won’t happen.
4. Be persistent in prayer.
Some answers take time. When prayerfully evaluating our schedules, some things, like cutting out (or cutting in half) that hour we spend scrolling through Facebook each night, might seem obvious. Determining other changes may take time, prayer and the input from wise counsel.
But God is faithful, and He will guide us toward His very best at any moment. That best will lead to increased joy and peace.
What about you? Have you allowed the good to crowd out God’s best? Are you intentional with your time, your relationships and your faith? Or are you chasing after whatever screams the loudest or flashes the brightest but fails to truly nourish your soul?
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This article originally appeared here.