How to Still Glorify God in Busy Seasons
I have a growing to-do list with about 20 non-school related things on it, as well as countless big assignments, projects, and presentations due in the next two weeks. It seems like every time I cross one thing off the list, three more things get added. I’m trying to balance school with friendships with starting an essential oil rollerball and hand-lettered artwork business, among many other things like leading a small group and doing discipleship. Needless to say, I’m a little overwhelmed by the busyness of this season. I’m sure you can relate if you’re in school and exams are coming or just in a busy season of life right now.
However, just because our life gets crazy busy does not mean our faith has to suffer.
In seasons of busyness, you have two choices:
Keep pressing on just checking off the next thing, running through life trying to make it ‘til the next morning.
Surrender the busyness to God and let Him sanctify you in the process. It doesn’t take the busyness away, but it sure does make it a lot more purposeful and enjoyable.
Sometimes, I get so caught up in the lists (any other avid list makers out there?!), and before I know it a whole week has gone by, and I feel just as overwhelmed as before and don’t feel like I’m doing anything to intentionally love people or advance God’s Kingdom. I’m doing so much, but when I am not surrendering it to God, little to none of it has purpose and intentionality.
I don’t want to live like that. Because ultimately, one busy season leads to another, and I would hate to get to the end of my life and say, “Look, Lord, at how busy I was and how many Bible studies I led and classes I took and schedules I made!” And He would reply, “But look how many chances you missed to love people because you were so glued to your schedule, and count the number of times you neglected to spend time with me in the illusion of doing things for me.”
Ouch. None of us want to hear that from God, but unfortunately, that’s how a lot of us (myself included) often find ourselves living.
Doing things for God is not the goal. God wants us to do life with Him.
That’s a principle I’ve been learning from reading the book “Nothing to Prove” by Jennie Allen. We often get so caught up doing things for God that we forget that He simply wants to be with us. With us in the slow, still moments, but also with us when life is going 100 miles per hour.
So, how do you do life with God in the busyness? Here’s a few things I’ve been implementing in my life to draw near to God in the midst of a busy season. These are things that worked for me, and they might not all work for you, depending on your schedule and season of life, so take what you want and leave the rest.
Start your day with time in the Word. If you can only cram in 5 minutes, then spend 5 minutes reading the Bible. Play the audio version from the Bible app in your car if you have to on your way to work or school. I promise you, starting your day by hearing from God is so crucial to setting your mind on things above and centering your day on Jesus. The First 5 App by Proverbs 31 is free, and AMAZING when you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the Word! It’s literally designed for you to spend the first 5 minutes of your day in the Word.
Do not get on social media, your planner, the newspaper, or anything else until after you spend time with God. These things are not helpful first thing in the morning, as they often get our mind racing with thoughts of what we need to do, how we’re not measuring up to others, or worried about things going on in the world. Again, frame your mind with Jesus and let that mindset overflow in everything you do throughout your day.
Use transition time as prayer time. Sure, ideally you could make ten minutes to spend alone in the quiet of your room praying in the morning, but I know that can’t always happen. But, sometimes, our most quiet moments of the day are the ones we spend in the car, going from school to work to home to the store. Instead of blasting music every time you get in the car or mentally listing out everything else you need to get done, dedicate your driving time to prayer.
If God puts an opportunity in front of you to love someone, stop what you’re doing and love them. If your first instinct is “I’m too busy,” then you either need to cut something out of your life or realign your priorities. When we truly love God, we can’t just say we’re too busy to love the people he puts in our path. I realized this when my neighbor invited me over, and the first time I said, “I’m busy right now, but I definitely will later.” And thankfully, she asked again a few days later, and I was able to recognize that loving her was WAY more important than what I needed to get done homework-wise, so I went.
Change your complaining to praising. When I get overloaded with homework, I start complaining to myself every time I have to sit down to do it. I’m like, “I don’t want to write this paper… I hate philosophy… There’s way too many assignments due for Discipleship class this week…” When we get like this, we forget what a blessing it is that the Lord has given us the opportunities He has, whether it be getting a degree at a Christian college or having a job that takes care of you family or leading Bible studies and bringing people closer to Him. I have so much to be thankful for with what the Lord has entrusted to me, but when I get caught up in the nitty-gritty day-to-day, I complain. I’m learning when I sit down to work on something I don’t want to, instead of complaining, I thank God for the opportunity to do it, and it changes my perspective on it.
I hope these tips of how to glorify God in busy seasons were helpful and that you can implement at least one of them if you’re walking through a busy season of life right now. I’m praying for you that the Lord would use this season as one to draw you closer to Him and rely on Him all the more!