Years ago I took a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada mountains with church friends. During the daily miles of hiking, a Bible verse echoed in my head, “Be still (from Hebrew: “let go” or “release.”), and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a. I kept asking, how can I “be still” while hiking? How can I focus on knowing God, while I’m so busy trying not to trip over rocks, hit my head on branches, or lose sight of the group?
Flash forward. I am no longer hiking up to Mt. Whitney, but I feel even more busy than ever. How? I have the same 24 hours, the same 7 days. But, I am often crushed by what feels like a lack of progress, never experiencing a sense of completion. How can “so busy” accomplish so little? To what have I given my time? When we don’t have a sense of what is important, we don’t have a sense of priority and everything feels urgent. By saying “yes” to things that don’t really matter, we are saying an automatic “no” to the ones that really do.
I am reminded of the quote by Bill Hull, “All who are called to salvation are called to discipleship, no exceptions, no excuses!” That one always smacks me right across the face. The Bible has a lot to say about how we use our time, what we prioritize, set our eyes on and to whom we give our heart.
- “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits….” (1)
- “Do not toil to acquire wealth….” (2)
- “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed….” (3)
Are we marching in the cause of Christ? Is “paying the bills” how we label pursuing luxury or false security? Are we being conformed by a world that considers what God says is right to be wrong? If so, we are being lead further away from our true priority, our Lord and Savior. Even the eminently capable Apostle Paul experienced this when he wrote “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate”. Once we finally realize that we are incapable of controlling life, we can surrender our will to God’s will. This will open the door so that we may experience the fullness of life for which God has created us.
What in your life do you connect with worry, stress or anxiety? Is it possible you are holding onto things that you need to mentally and emotionally “let go” and trust God who loves you unconditionally? Don’t obsess over what you can’t control or hold on to. So, as we hike through our daily lives, let us live with purpose, that of “being still” with our Father in Heaven and “be busy” making of disciples. No exceptions.