I tend to keep myself busy. Overly busy to be exact. I keep telling myself that a lengthy to-do list is normal.
My busy schedule was keeping every hour of my day packed with something to do. I definitely couldn’t miss my 5:30am date with the treadmill; it would be irresponsible of me to drop any of the emails, meetings and deadlines that were stacked high on my desk; and I couldn’t fathom canceling dinner dates and gatherings with friends. Oh, and sleep! I couldn’t forget to sleep.
As I jumped from one task to the next and from one appointment to another, I was oblivious to the fact that I was beginning to spread myself way too thin. Pouring myself out but failing to pour anything back in. I was depleting rapidly, on empty, running on whatever fumes were left. I could feel I was stretched thin but I brushed it off and told myself that this was my new norm.
I’m an adult and this is what adults do, right?!
One thing this schedule was very good at doing was keeping me from my quiet time with the Lord. But my priorities were more pressing. I knew I needed to rest in Him. I knew I needed to be renewed by the Word. I knew I needed shelter from my storm.
But I was too busy.
I was on my way to the gym one morning, as my schedule called for, when I was stopped at a railroad crossing. Nothing out of the ordinary, I thought. This should only be about a three-minute delay in my work out. Tops.
Oooh but the dread on my face as I watched that train’s wheels go from a slow and cautious pace to then a complete stop. Noooooo. You have got to be kidding me. Three minutes passed, then five. I scanned my surroundings for a way of escape but there was just no possible exit plan. There were cars beside me, cars behind me, and a stalled freight train in front of me.
I gauged my situation and determined it was now safe for me to panic.
I couldn’t just have ‘down’ time! I figured it would be so wise of me to be resourceful with my time and truthfully, I needed something to occupy my thoughts so that I didn’t scream. I looked around the car for paperwork to possibly sort through and (to my surprise) there was my Bible, sitting there on the back seat, waving at me. I think it had even called my name.
I grabbed it, leafed through it, and began to read. And pray. And listen. And pray some more. Goodness, I needed this moment right here.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB)
Yes, I hear you, Lord.
The train finally began to move after 45 minutes of it being stalled. It was the same amount of time I would have spent at the gym. Go figure. I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened to that train, but I know He knows. And I definitely learned a valuable lesson that morning.
There’s no benefit to me, to us, in forsaking our quiet time with the One who restores. He provides rest for the weary, peace for the anxious, faith for those in doubt, wisdom for those with questions, confidence for those who are uncertain, and direction for those that are searching.
. . . like me.