Does anyone else get a little bit embarrassed when those memories from 10 years ago pop up on facebook? You know, the old status that looks a little like this:
“i’M soo BoREd. WhAt iS ev3RyoNe DoINg todAy??”
I’m not sure why alternating capital letters was a trend, but it for sure was! I can recall many days in middle school and high school where I was “bored”. My friends and I were always looking for someone to hang out with or something to do. We had little responsibility and not a ton of perspective. We weren’t yet to a point where we found serenity in the stillness or just desperately needed a moment to ourselves.
Fast forward 10 years and now I’m happily married with a sweet baby boy. Despite the joy that my life holds now, I sometimes miss the simple days when I felt “bored”. What would that feel like now? I can’t imagine I’ll ever experience that feeling again. I don’t mean for that to sound so depressing, but it kind of is right!? Why is that? How did I get to the point where I barely have any time to myself? Time just to breathe even.
There are many factors that led me here, one of the main ones being knowledge. As you get older you gain more knowledge; it’s inevitable. Knowledge through school, people, physical growth, and life experience. But with knowledge comes expectation. The older you get, the more that is expected from you. You are expected to get a job, learn to drive, pay taxes, buy a house. I mean you know how to now, right? If not, you’ll learn.
It’s not all bad though. With age you also learn love, compassion, friendship, and what’s most important to you. So why is it then that after so many years of searching for people to spend time with and things to do, do we find ourselves taking days to respond or not respond at all to a text message we get from a friend. Why do we struggle with finding time for the Word, making time for church, or remembering to help a friend? I mean HOW did we go from being SO bored to being TOO busy? Where along the way did our priorities become so mixed up?
In one way or another we all struggle with prioritizing what’s important. We’ve all forgotten to call a friend back, put off checking on Grandma, or spent the whole day watching Netflix and never picked up our bible. With all the time passed and all the knowledge gained, we’ve also picked up bad habits, said yes to things we don’t have time for, and become bitter due to unmet expectations either by ourselves or loved ones. We often suppress our feelings by staying busy & or being entertained (social media, Netflix, etc.)
But what if I told you there was so much life on the other side of the busyness, bitterness, and procrastination. What if I told you there was freedom, stillness, grace, and days like middle school where you cared about what your friends were up to. What if there was a way to slow down and start putting first the things that will ultimately change your life.
Here are a few places to start. These things have helped tremendously in my life, relationships, and walk with the Lord.
Start your day with prayer.
A Sunday school answer, maybe. However, you would be shocked at the number of christians who struggle with prayer. We get caught up in the wording & how we sound. Personally, I have trouble talking to God when I know that my attitude hasn’t been the best. Other times I feel confused about my circumstances and I just don’t know what to say.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26
God calls us to come to him no matter our circumstances. He doesn’t want a perfect prayer. He just wants you. He wants your heart & he wants a relationship with you. If you start your day with prayer, you will see your days differently. Talk to God throughout your day and your perspective will begin to change.
Learn when to say no.
You’ve probably heard this a lot lately because we live in a very “self-help” me-centered culture. When I say no, I don’t mean ignoring the needs of others or always putting yourself first. Self reflection is great and necessary, but what I mean here is saying no to things that keep you from time with the Lord. This is a calling to make room for God in your life. Set aside time for him, and slowly begin getting rid of things that hinder your relationship with the Lord. That may be as simple as spending less time on social media. Or it could be as big as quitting your job, and I don’t say that lightly. Put the Lord first, and He will guide you.
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” - Proverbs 3:6
Do you ever get those little inklings in your heart that you feel are pushing you to do something? It could be to apologize to someone, let go of a relationship, or to move to another city. That could be the Holy Spirit leading you. Pray & reflect on those things and put them into practice. Being obedient to what the Lord asks of you will open the door to freedom and fruit in your life. And even if you can’t pinpoint the exact things you feel “called’ to do, we know that the Word commands us to do two things; Love God & Love Others. If what you want to do is based on these principles, you can be confident in moving forward. Be obedient to the Lord’s promptings and you will see change in your life & in the lives of others.
“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”- Deut 5:33
Start there. Pray, make room, and follow him. Fight your way back to a simpler life. A life full of joy and a heart open to what the Lord has for you. Don’t speed walk your way through life by staying busy and entertained. Start building a life that makes you available to the ones you love, and most importantly available to God. YoU cAn DO iT! <3