Have you ever tried to pray when you are busy? I don’t mean a little busy, but the busy where you are trying to be in two places at once, bake (not burn) cookies for a school event, and not only manage, but try to actually meet, deadlines for work. On those days I can barely form a coherent thought and my brain is a hurricane of activity. So, prayer? Unfortunately, those days when I could use the peace that prayer provides the most I find it the hardest to grasp.
In the 1960s Charles Hummel wrote about the “Tyranny of the Urgent” and it is a timeless piece.
Don’t let the urgent take place of the important in your life. Oh, the urgent will really fight, claw, and scream for attention. It will plead for our time and even make us think we have done the right thing by calming our nerves. But the tragedy of it all is this: while you and I were putting out the fires of the urgent (an everyday affair), the important thing again was left in a holding pattern. And interestingly, the important thing is neither noisy or demanding. Unlike the urgent, it patiently and quietly waits for us to realize its importance.
The problem is not a lack of time: the problem has to do with priorities. If we have more time, we will simply fill it with more things. (I know this well from experience!)
I have heard the acronym B-U-S-Y, Being Under Satan’s Yoke. The Urgent is Satan’s trick to distract. Satan’s ploy is to get us so caught up with the little – and not so little – details of life that the things that God actually wants you to be busy with are left undone. If we get caught up in the busy, even for a noble cause, and we don’t spend time in prayer we will have no idea if what we are so busy doing lines up with God’s will for our lives. We will simply wind up exhausted, having in our busyness, handed Satan a victory.
I was challenged today to take an inventory of what was usurping my attention, my energy, my time to pray. I would challenge you to do the same.
What, or who, will you fix your eyes on this week?
Father, forgive me for letting my days run my life. I never want to be too busy for You. Especially when I am claiming to do things in your name. Please open my eyes this week Lord to what is important, and to what is simply clammoring for my attention. I want all that I say and do to be pleasing to you. In your holy name, amen.