We’ve all been there – when we’re too busy to get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, or go to a doctor’s appointment. Our health and relationships go haywire, and we can’t seem to find the time to do the things we need to do, let alone address any of the things we want to do.
We’ve all – at one point or another – felt that we were too busy to spend time with Yahweh.
To me it just sounds selfish, like I only make room for Yahweh in my life when the rubber hits the road and my back is against the wall. I don’t want a relationship like that – I want a consistent relationship with Him.
I had a thought last night that relationship with Yahweh is more about consistency than it is about intensity. We often think that evidence of relationship with Yahweh is outward signs and wonders, material blessings, the favor of man. But my own testimony is different. For me, one of the most valuable and impactful byproducts of relationship with Yahweh is stability. He stabilizes me, He grounds me, He helps me keep my head on straight and my mind clear.
And I have also found that true stability only comes when I make spending time with Him a part of my daily life, not just a once a week thing. It’s found in relationship with Him, not infrequent encounters with Him. I think our faith stretches when we make up our minds, come hell or high water, that Yahweh will be a part of every aspect of our existence, and we will make time to spend in His presence.
This is something I still struggle with in busy seasons, because I love routine. I like waking up and knowing what I have to do, this is why I list things, why I have planners and schedules. I like when things go to plan. In short, I like when my life is predictable. But in recent months Yahweh has shown me that my life will probably never be what I thought it would be, and I need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. He helped me realize that He’s in control of my destiny, not me and my lists.
So when my plans to get to bed by 9:30 pm so I could wake up at 5 am feeling refreshed to do Bible study before work is trashed because I actually ended up going to bed at 12:30 am and slept through my first three alarms and ended up rushing to work with no eyebrows and no breakfast in my stomach (true story), the fact is I still need to find time to spend in the Word. I still need to find time to talk to Yahweh and give Him my undivided attention.
I’d love to be sitting on my bed in my softly lit room every single time I had to study the Word or pray. I would absolutely love that. But the reality is my life doesn’t always allow for that. I’m not great at waking up early. I don’t like being sleep-deprived, and sometimes I don’t get home until much later than I thought I would. Maybe you have to take care of a sick child or help your husband/wife with a project. Maybe you’re a single mom and your time is not your own. The point is, life happens. And when it happens, we have to decide how important our relationship with Yahweh is to us.
And I’m learning in the busy seasons to pack Yahweh and take Him with me.
What do I mean by that? I mean make the most out of the minutes we so carelessly whittle away during the day. One morning I slept through my hour. This is what I call it when I don’t wake up in time to do Bible study before work. I was sulking in the car, honestly on the verge of tears, beating myself up, and the Holy Spirit dropped a song in my head. I put the song on and transformed my morning commute into a worship service. I sat in my car for five extra minutes and prayed before I went into my office. And honestly, I felt so much more connected and whole than I did when I was slamming myself for not waking up in time.
That morning taught me that plans fail, our bodies fail, our environments and the future are unpredictable. But we have to learn to go with the flow and allow our relationships with Yahweh to be fluid and dynamic. Right now He’s teaching me how flexible He can be, and He’s interrupting the cadence of my daily life to do it. He’s teaching me how to prioritize Him when I’m busy doing the things that He told me to do.
Not even purpose is an excuse for not making your relationship with Yahweh the priority.
It’s great to have a special meeting place for just you and Him, and don’t get me wrong, I love meeting Yahweh in my softly lit bedroom (with my cup of peppermint tea), but I don’t always need that in order to experience the manifestation of His presence. I love an atmosphere, and I love the beauty of solace with my King, but in seasons where those things aren’t available to me, I have to believe that Yahweh can meet me whenever and wherever I am. He isn’t limited to the confines of my quiet time.
I have to believe that He and I can have a heart to heart while I prep my lunches for the week. I have to believe that He can speak clearly to me while I do laundry or clean the bathroom. I have to believe that He can still reach me when I’m so busy that no one else can. I have to believe that His desire to speak to me means that He is able to surpass every obstacle that may be standing between him and me. And I have to believe that when I make an effort to fill the voids in my day with Him, that He honors my effort and makes room for Himself.
A deeper aspect of this revelation is that when you’re truly living a life that is yielded before Yahweh, everything you do worships – your job, your time with family, your hobbies. You live a life of worship and fellowship with Yahweh when you include Him in every aspect of your human experience, not just the parts that are explicitly spiritual (blog post coming soon).
I’m in a busy season right now, and I’m learning to get creative with my faith, I’m learning to pack Him and take Him with me. I’m not saying I have it down just yet, but I am saying it’s bringing us closer. Intimacy is always mote profound when you make time for it, even if it’s nontraditional and not in the form or capacity that you’d like. What matters right now is that I give my best, and if my best is a ten minute prayer break in the secret bathroom in the building, then I believe He will meet me there and commune with me just as strongly as He would have if we were alone on an island together with no distractions.
Try it, pack Him like the medication you need to survive and remember to partake in Him, especially when time isn’t on your side.