Tuesday, 16 February 2016

#3 – Busy being busy

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A multitude of activities doth not a success make...

busy-painting
Image source: Unknown

I used to have a veerry cluttered desktop. No, not the wooden one. My virtual desktop. Computer. This is mostly because I have tones of sticky notes flying around. Notes, tips and several goals I placed on my PC to help organize my life.

My tiff is however not with my love-hate-relationship with sticky notes. I like sticky notes, really I do and maybe a little clutter too. But the quarrel is with myself.

Here is why…

The ONLY reason I have tonnes of sticky notes is because I have tonnes of unfinished tasks. Somehow, it feels really good writing those notes down. And I won’t argue there are benefits, but the problem is after making dozens of bullet point goals, I sit back and admire my art of goal setting. But, after some weeks, I come back and if I still find those tasks undone, I begin to feel like I have…err…failed.

I define the quality of my life and ultimately my success by the number if things I am able to accomplish. This has always been one of my twisted ways of defining success. That the measure of success is being able to manage different things at the same time and succeed at all. I always thought, “Oh, you are good at that? Just that? What is the fun in that?” You see, this should not surprise you (maybe it doesn’t ‘cos you think the same way) as I am a serial multi-tasker. All ladies are. The quintessential Juliet-of-all-trades…err…master of…umm…err...none?

But it gets frustrating like I said, when I come back only to find I was not able to accomplish most of those tasks. It gets even worse when on some days I know I should be doing something but then just sit staring blankly at my bullet point list trying to figure out what to do. Ironic right? I mean I have many things to do already. Right?

Sigh.

Then I found something.

“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” (John 17:4 – NKJV)

Did you get that? Jesus said, ‘I have finished the work YOU gave me to do’. Not ‘the work Peter gave me to do’. Or ‘the work the Pharisees want me to do.’ But the work YOU gave me to do. Each time I pictured Jesus, I used to see Him as this super busy activity overlord who was running around healing the sick, preaching and generally doing good without a breather. But this is not true. Inasmuch as he was far from idle (John 9:4), he couldn’t possibly have been that busy if he could sit and draw circles in the stand, have relaxed conversations with strangers he met at the well, or have dinner parties with sinners. There were gazillions of sick people and lots of requests and expectations from him (many expected him to be an earthly king who would overthrow the Roman government), but he did only what God gave Him to do.

You see, this is key. I have realized that the only one I will report to is God. He is the one who holds the blueprint for my life. My duty is therefore, to find this blueprint on a daily basis. Instead of wasting time running off frantically in busyness, I should spend all that time finding what He wants me to do. I will be shocked to find that what he requires of me is blessedly simple. I should just chill and follow Him. This is not only wise but time-efficient.


Doing this, will drastically simplify our lives. God wants us to live full lives. Not busy lives. He wants us to live to the fullest. Love to the fullest. Abundant life. He wants to stretch us. But He doesn’t want us wasting precious time running at every one’s beck and call and generally getting burned out trying to compete with the world’s standard of success.


Busyness is great but can leave us blindly chasing results and not process. It sometimes has us leaving brush strokes all around and forgetting to admire the beautiful painting that is our lives. It can leave us as doers instead of livers.
 
Am I saying not to push yourself to the limit? Am I saying to be mediocre? Far from it! God will push you to your limits, His plans are anything but mediocre. What I am saying is this: shed off the extra load! De-clutter your life. The only burden you want in your life is that which God places on you. And it will shock you to find it is very light!

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 – NKJV).

 
His burden is light if we take it up with joy and surrender. Pause a little. Review your to-do list. For whom are you doing them? If the answer is not God, then immediately strike them off your list. Now, begin to ask God, “What will you have me do?” Sometimes, you cannot sit idle and wait for God to move you. Take one step in faith first and watch Him guide you. Because a success is not a busy person but an obedient, purposeful person.


I may not do all the great things I dream of doing. I may not go all the places I desire to go. I may not make all the money I want to. I may not please everybody, even myself. I may not fill every moment of my life with ‘great’ activities. But I will do all God expects of me. I will settle for what He wants even if it looks insignificant in the world’s eyes. Things like faith, love, hope, joy…silence. I will work tirelessly for His beautiful will. I will wait on and for Him.

And maybe that’s okay.

Side Note:


In summary: 
 
Whatever you do, don’t EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER get too busy for God.

Ever.


Sorry, I was testing my copy and paste skills :)

Okay, here goes: Whatever you do, don't ever get too busy for God.



*Based on the "What I have been learning" series.

Friday, 5 February 2016

#2 – On God’s love

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God loves me unconditionally. He loves me because He is Love and not because I am lovely.

I had a terrible day the other day. It was so horrible I was on the verge of tears. Don’t ask me about it because it is not a gist for today. And if you are really interested, you can grab me whenever you see me and ask me about it. I’ll be polite. Except I’m having another bad day -__-

Alright, where was I?

Yeah, I had a horrible day. The day was so so so bad. In fact it was not palatable at all. I felt like I had probably woken on the wrong side of the bed and maybe as Sara Groves puts it, the wrong side of the world. It was just horrible. Ick.

Okay, I’m sure you get the idea.

So, I was having this phenomenally bad day, and to make it worse, most of it was my own folly. I had made some terrible decisions and crossed some lines that day. And as I sat on the slab, licking my wounds and battling the tears, I began to get in the ‘sorry me’ mood. You know, the one where you suddenly remember all the things wrong with your life and how you are the innocent victim of life...yadda, yadda, yadda. Yeah, that one.
 

But as I am wont to do, I did not chalk the horribleness of my day to a few bad decisions alone. I dug deeper and realized that all these could be traced to just one bad decision I made that morning or maybe several of those before then.

I missed my time with God.

Okay, so you may roll your eyes and snort thinking, “And so?” But for me, this was huge (or I want it to be huge. It should be [this is another long post]). And somehow, I began to think that maybe, just maybe God was getting back at me for standing him up too long. Of course, I tried to shake this feeling off immediately it came, saying I knew better.

But the suspicion was there.

We are like this a lot of times. We believe that God’s love for us is based on our performance. W
e feel loved when we act well but unloved when we act badly but this is a lie.  In fact, it was while we were still dead to God in sin and cared nothing for Him that He demonstrated His love for us (Romans 5:28). It was while we were enemies of God and were wanderers lost in our own folly that He extended a hand of fellowship to us.

God loves us because He is Love. This is His nature. He cannot help but love. He loves because He is love and not because we are lovely. Nothing we do or don’t do will make Him love us more or less. We cannot coerce Him to love us because we don’t have to.

 “The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]” (1 John 4:8 – Amplified Bible).

That’s just the way it is. And of course there are times we do fall short and begin to wonder about whether we deserve to be loved. I know I wonder. But, the truth is we don’t, we don't deserve it and it is in this state that we can truly appreciate the nature of Love. The nature of love is the nature of God. We don’t have to feel loved, all we need is to trust in His word and His profession of love He splatters over the pages of the Bible. 





“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – NKJV).

 
Did you get that? Love is patient. God is patient. He is kind, and every other character of love stated above is HIM. Get it? Christ asked us to forgive our brother 7 times 70 times a day. And I believe that if God could ask that of us, then He would at least do the same. He cannot ask of us something He himself has not done or cannot do. So yeah, God is enduring. And all that.

The more we understand about this love of God, the more we are propelled to love Him. An active indication of not loving God is that we do NOT understand God’s love. Also, when life comes barelling at us like a raged bull, reflecting on His love keeps us. We struggle with a lot of issues because the love of God is still not real to us. For if we understood, how can we not respond favorably to a One so dear? How?

God is love and ALL that He does for us is born out of the love He has for us. It may look unloving to us, but ultimately He is loving us through the process and redefining our perception of what love really is. He is giving us Himself through and through. We may not like the process. We may bend and pass through fire.

But faith sits and watches.

She waits before the ashes.

She nods and mutters;

“It is well. Love is here.”


Side Note:

Again I sit and wonder. I cry in my heart with a desperation that I cannot contain.

'Lord, make this real to me yet!'

For if indeed I understood, would I still keep love waiting? Would I continue to gather worthless jewels while He awaits? Will I not pick up my cross and walk the path of love? Will I not be responsive?

Reality. Yes, all I need.

Reality.

**Based on the 'What I have been learning series.**
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