Monday, July 10, 2017

Busy Busy Busy

Yesterday I finished The Look That Kills by Michelle Myers. The book is ultimately about surrendering to Jesus what we are clinging to more than Him. In Michelle's case it was her battle with anorexia and compulsive over-exercising disorder. Because I want to make sure that the message of the book is not lost when I put it on the shelf, I went through all of the things I underlined and wrote out some difficult questions that I need to answer for myself. 

Clearly if you know me you know I am not suffering from anorexia. But if you know my past, you know I have definitely dealt with (and to a degree still deal with) compulsive over-exercising. (Rest days do not happen as they should by any means.) Some of that has been a form of self-inflicted punishment because I have no desire to surrender my eating habits to Jesus and some of it is just because I have this desire to push myself physically beyond what is most likely healthy for me. I have no idea why, hence the tough questions.

But one quote in the book from her dad during the beginning of her recovery struck me hard. He said, "You try to run a marathon at a 5K pace without stopping to think about the terrain you will come across or what shoes you should wear which is why half of the time you end up sprinting in stilettos on quicksand." The questions I wrote that I need to answer are: How does your life reflect that statement? In what areas is it worst? What can you do to reverse engineer this mentality? 

And this morning I took this picture.

If I had to caption this, it would have something to do with getting busy for Jesus. This is the area of my life that I most try to run a marathon at a 5K pace. Why? Because I didn't own a Bible until late 2005, I didn't start really reading my Bible until the fall of 2006, and from that point on, minus a brief period where I did a lot of 'stuff' but not read my Bible, I have been trying to make up for the 20+ years I feel like I should have been reading my Bible but wasn't. 

This picture reflects a few key issues. First, I don't trust God with teaching me what He needs me to know when He needs me to know it. I am trying to work at breakneck speed and do a lot of things all at once. Second, when I get 'behind' on any one aspect of it, I get really ugly. Third, this does not include a few things I have as 'side gigs' that are listed on my to watch list.....aka the free video sessions of Beth Moore's newest Bible study Entrusted through LifeWay Women and anything else that shows up in my facebook newsfeed that looks good or that someone I follow recommends. 

The question then becomes how do I reverse engineer this mentality? How do I slow down to do things intentionally and let them really take root and not just go from one thing to the next? And the answer is I have no clue. I've been doing this for a long time.

What's funniest about this picture is that the reason the Ipod is on the table is because of the devotional app I read every morning. Today's devotional talked about prioritizing reading God's word first before we check our phones, facebook, or email. As soon as I read that and saw what I had spread out on the table, I remembered something I've heard many times over the years......if Satan can't make you bad, he'll make you busy.

About a week ago my husband who knows this dilemma of mine said that he thought I needed to prune some things. Honestly I ignored him. Kind of. I knew he was right but I didn't want to admit it, acknowledge it, or do anything about it. But the reality is, if I am doing a whole lot of stuff and not letting it sink in and develop that strong root system, I am doing nothing more than planting seeds on soil that will be picked over by birds or blown away in the wind. Neither of which is a good scenario.

As I sit here and think about how simply Jesus lived His life, it makes me wonder why I try to complicate mine. If the goal is to be Christ-like, I don't ever recall Him getting super busy with spiritual activity. So maybe instead of trying to decide what needs to go from the table and what needs to stay, I'll take a step back, read my Bible, and let Him tell me what He'd like me to do next. He's much better at deciding these things anyway.

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