"Get Off the Hustle and Bustle Wheel" - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 - by Dianne Prince
They made me the keeper of the vineyards, But my own vineyard I have not kept. – Song of Solomon 1:6b (KJV)
We are slaves to time. Many get up before the crack of dawn. You do your hygiene. You get ready for the day. You drive to work—stay there eight, ten, twelve and even sixteen hours. You head home from the job, stop by the gas station, the grocery store, and the cleaners. If you have children in your care, you stop by the day care center. By the time you arrive home it is six-thirty, seven o’clock, even seven-thirty in the evening. Once home, you throw in a load of laundry, check on the pet, check the messages on the phone, prepare a quick meal, perform a few tasks, and before you know it, it is time for bed. You get up the next morning and the cycle starts all over again.
If you do not work outside the home, your schedule is even more packed. I have several friends who are retired. They sometimes say, “I don’t know where the time goes. I am busier now that I was when I was working.” Imagine that. If you have school age children, multiply the demands by two. There is practice for little league and rehearsal for dance. There is dropping the kids off for soccer practice. There is taking them to gymnastics, to karate, to baseball, to football, to drama rehearsal, or to cheerleading practice. You name it and you know someone whose kid is involved in it.
Slow down. Take a breath. Prioritize. Get rid of some of the activities. The world will not stop if you cut out some of the “busy-ness”. The world will not come to an abrupt halt if you selectively choose what you will get involved in. The world will not explode if you intentionally decide to disappear for thirty minutes to an hour each day. If you decide to check out for a period of time, people will improvise. They will figure it out.
Jesus commands “me” time. Is that selfish? I think not. Is it common sense? Definitely so. Jesus withdrew from the hustle and bustle of life. Luke 4:42 tells us, “And when day came, He departed to a lonely place; and the multitudes were searching for Him, and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from going away from them.”
Today, I challenge you to withdraw to seek solitude. Stop your routine, just for a day. Cease from labor, just for a few hours—for the purpose of restoration and solitude. Steal away. You can do so right in your home. Turn off the cell phone, the home phone, the TV, the iPAD, the iPOD, the iPHONE and any other electronic gadget that begins with an “i.” If there are people in your home who will prevent you from carving out some “me” time , steal away to the park bench, the library, the Panera Bread or your favorite local coffee or smoothie shop.
Take time daily to “hush” your mind. Reflect on what you have accomplished each day. This is looking back at your past. Ask yourself, “What tasks did I perform today? For whom did I carry out the tasks? How well were the tasks accomplished? Why did I perform the tasks? Were the tasks necessary? Did things turn out as expected?” These questions will help you flush out what is important, and what is simply done out of routine or habit. Cut out anything that is done with no purpose, rhyme, or rationale.
Take time daily to examine your priorities. Pause regularly during the day. This is looking at the present to make sure you have not added any additional “to do’s” to you already overworked schedule. Look at the present to make sure you are staying true to your principles. Ask yourself, “What is my mission today?” Limit that question to today’s activities.
Do not allow your schedule to control you. Take control of your schedule. Do not allow people to impose their agendas into your schedule. Someone else’s priority does not have to become your problem or your primary goal for the day. Do not pack so many activities into a single day. Spread them across several days.
Today, pause and take a breath. Why? “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” Reclaim your time. Get off the “hustle and bustle” wheel.
Additional daily inspirations are available in the book Stronger and Wiser by Dianne Prince.