The September Scramble, former procrastinators, is upon us. We wrestle with what activities to participate in during the coming months. Before signing up, it helps to:
Pray and think this through without assumptions. (“Of course, I’ll be room mother.” “I always do Thursday Bible study.”)
Ask what are my goals/family goals? (Learn to serve others cheerfully. Fulfill responsibilities.) Will activities complement them or conflict?
Bounce thoughts off your husband and a friend.
Most important, what does the Holy Spirit want me/us to focus on?
Most likely, it’s fewer things than you and I have on our lists. Do less, make a more significant impact.
An over busy schedule can stem from a heart issue I may not know I have. “Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) September is heart check month.
Why do we try to pack in more than we ought? What does that say about our hearts? Do we feel we have no choice? Do we want to seize opportunities? Keep ourselves occupied so we’re not alone with ourselves? Appear to be productive? Are we afraid of missing out?
Having fewer activities allows us to concentrate on a study God prompts or to tackle a neglected project. Having fewer demands makes us better able to hear the silent heart cries of our little ones. Sometimes we don’t even know why God prompts “do less.” We discover later that He had a reason, and we’re glad we listened.
Imagine time to play games, read, take walks. You could bake cookies just for fun. You could linger with friends because you’re not pressed to get somewhere else. What would that be like?
The four-legged member of our family makes me think about a too-full schedule. Does anybody pay attention to the dog? Why not? Is the dog “just there”? Does he get food dumped in a bowl with no thoughtful interaction? If so, is it possible we’re so busy that people in the family feel they’re treated the same way the dog is? Now that’s extreme, but is everybody so busy there’s no time to hear a heart? Do we give a pat on the head and keep moving?
“I can’t get a dog; I don’t have time for a dog.” It’s not that you need a dog. The “dog idea” is a signal, like the canary in the mine. If the canary dies, there’s not enough oxygen in the mine for the miners. A dead canary is a warning to get out.
Do you have enough air in your day? Do you need to get out of an overly busy schedule so you and your family can breathe? So you can notice the dog is limping or sit and stroke his ears while you watch the sunrise?
Our hearts need not strive so. The Holy Spirit will not overload us. We can trust His guidance.
What will you omit from the list of possible activities?