Practical ways to fight busyness and find rest in Christ in the modern world
Alissa M Geist
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“I can’t – I’m too busy.” “I don’t have room in my schedule.” “I don’t have enough time.”
How many times have you found yourself saying these very words as an excuse for any number of things – things that when it comes down to it just simply aren’t a priority?
You’ve already got school, a job or maybe multiple jobs, and your sport. Those take up every ounce of time and energy you have. You can barely squeeze friends into the mix, let alone anything else.
Unfortunately, it can be all too easy to view our time with the Lord through this same lens – “I’m too busy. I don’t have room in my schedule. I don’t have enough time.”
Your relationship with God has become just another dish in the Thanksgiving feast of life; nice to have if there’s time, but not necessary for the overall meal.
And this, dear athlete, is exactly where the devil wants you to be, because he knows one thing very clearly: we can’t have faith and trust in someone we’re too busy to know. James 2:19 (NIV) says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” Saving faith in Jesus Christ is not simply a belief that He exists, but a surrender to and relationship with Him – something He so deeply desires, yet something the devil seeks mercilessly to keep us from.
Tim Kreider, a writer and columnist for the New York Times, wrote in his 2012 article The Busy Trap, “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”
Maybe you’re a person who likes busyness, or maybe it’s become something you feel you can’t escape. But at the end of the day, busyness has become a terrible plague in our society, undermining our time and redirecting the ships of our hearts toward anything but our Savior – a move that ultimately will dash us upon the rocks.
Scripture places a very high significance on making time for God, and on resting in Him. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, we see Him time and time again withdrawing from the busyness of crowds to exist with the Lord and renew His strength.
In Luke 5:16 (NIV), we see “Jesus often withd[rawing] to lonely places [to pray].” In Mark 6:31, “so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, and He said to His disciples, ‘come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” In Isaiah 30:15, we read, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.’”
Clearly, creating time for the Lord and resting in His presence is a crucial aspect to the Christian walk – a facet all too often brushed to the wayside in today’s hectic culture. So how can we as athletes practically begin to tackle this issue head-on and find time for God in a life that is packed to the brim?
"THIS IS WHAT THE SOVEREIGN LORD, THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL SAYS: 'IN REPENTANCE AND REST IS YOUR SALVATION, IN QUIETNESS AND TRUST IS YOUR STRENGTH.'"
Isaiah 30: 15
1. LISTEN TO CHRISTIAN PODCASTS/RADIO
Your routine may feel like a non-stop marathon from the time you wake up until you collapse in bed at the end of the day, but being intentional in the in-between times can be a great way to spend time with the Lord. Pop in those air pods while you get ready in the morning, or crank that aux during your commute and use those in-between moments to invest in your relationship with God.
2. ESTABLISH A HABIT
We as humans tend to follow the law of inertia: once something is in motion, it tends to stay in motion. Keeping this in mind then, we just need to take the initiative to establish good motions & tie parts of our daily routine into our walk with Christ. Just try it – every time you eat, brush your teeth, step into a car – whatever it may be – make a habit of praying for a minute. By linking a spiritual activity to an everyday activity, we can begin to reorient our minds and not allow busyness to steal us from our relationship with God.
wE Can't have faith and trust in someone we're too busy to know.
3. START A SABBATH
The concept of a “Sabbath” seems so foreign to us today, but a term used 172 times in the Bible shouldn’t be so easily overlooked just because “life’s too busy.” In the 7 days of creation, God literally established a Sabbath into His very creation of the world.
Now maybe setting an entire day aside for rest with the Lord just isn’t manageable for your schedule, but regularly setting one night, afternoon, or even morning aside a week – just 1-2 hours – to rest with the Lord is a giant step at seizing the reins of our lives from business and putting ourselves back on course. This could look like singing along to worship songs, praying, journaling, reading Scripture, talking with a friend about their spiritual walk, even learning under a spiritual mentor.
Dear athlete, don’t let the devil use busyness in your life any longer to keep you from God. Take charge of your life and be intentional in your relationship. How can you have faith and trust in someone you’re too busy to know?
Alissa is a senior strategic communication major at Cedarville University. She has played soccer nearly all her life and desires to use this passion to build into others & lead them to Christ.