A song of ascents. Of David.
”My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.”
What things most weigh on you in this season of life? Parenting young children? Work responsibilities? Demanding projects? Personal goals? Expectations of family and friends? Write them down as a list.
Busyness can reflect the marketplace of opportunities before us in the Western world. “Because we can do so much, we do so much” (Kevin DeYoung). But consider these dangers:
Do any of these resonate with you?
Some busyness may be unavoidable. Faithfulness means depending on God to empower you through a busy season.
But often busyness is self-inflicted. It reflects a deeper problem of desires in our hearts. Particular people or things edge God out of our vision and take his place. We attempt to do what’s beyond us. Real pressures are made worse by what’s going on inside us.
Are there places where your heart goes astray? E.g. Do you strive for others’ approval? Worry about putting your best face forward? Struggle to accept your limitations? Act as if you’re all-knowing, all-powerful and capable of being everywhere at once? Do you make things worse by habits of escape (e.g use of social media, binge eating/drinking/watching)?
David knew the experience of a restless heart always fussing. But in Psalm 131 we see he’d learned to strip back his pride before God. Though a king he learned not to concern himself with things that were beyond him. He learned to be content. He placed his hope in God, not in his own abilities.
Live with Psalm 131 and make it your own. Allow it to shape real patterns of rest into your weekly rhythms. Learn to have times when you’re really ‘off’. Develop patterns of fruitful work and fruitful rest.
Tell God about the chaos that is your life. Tell him about things that make up your busyness. Ask him for wisdom to discern between unavoidable pressures and priorities gone wrong. Confess to him areas where you’re heart has gone astray. Ask for his forgiveness. Seek his help for evaluating and changing rhythms of life. Ask him to be your hope.
Share your list with another Christian. Share what you’ve been thinking about with your straying heart. Ask for input. Are you doing too much? Where could you cut back? Pray together for God’s help.
Created in June 2019 by Jeremy Ward with insights from Kevin DeYoung,‘Crazy Busy’ & Mike Emlet’s Book Review of ‘Crazy Busy.’
Jeremy works as a Pastoral Counsellor at The Joshua Tree and Ashfield Presbyterian Church.