Life can get so busy! It seems I’m running all the time, doing this, doing that, doing something else. Yet I stop sometimes in my day and find hours have passed, and I have no idea what I’ve actually done. There’s nothing I can tick off my to-do list, though I’ve been busy busy busy!
I’ve beat myself up over not getting enough done, especially if I slow down, thinking I’ve wasted that time. Sure, sometimes I really am just wasting time on stuff I’d be better forgetting about. But lately, I’ve started wondering if some of those “wasted” hours might be the most important parts of my days.
Maybe that half-hour when I set aside my plans and chatted with a worried neighbour counts for far more than I realise. Maybe there’s worth in that quiet ten minutes daydreaming, holding hopes before the Lord. Or the twenty minutes searching out a half-remembered Bible verse.
Maybe, we don’t always have to be doing BIG IMPORTANT THINGS and meeting goals and ticking stuff off our to-do lists. Maybe those little quiet things are the cracks where love gets into our lives.
I’ve been writing a lot less the last few months, because in that not so subtle way He sometimes has, God kept putting roadblock after roadblock in my way. He whacked me with the realisation that I was putting my writing plans and my release deadlines ahead of my marriage, when He wanted my husband to be my #1 priority. He made me see just how many times I said to my ill, disabled sweetheart, “Not now, I’m working.” My husband never said anything, but I knew he felt he came second to my writing – and he was right!
No matter that the income from my writing helps support us. No matter what I said or wanted to believe. My behaviour showed that I didn’t truly put him ahead of my work. Plus I had a bad habit of using the time we did have talking in telling him what I thought or giving advice on what he should do. Or I was multi-tasking, on the laptop, answering emails or messages at the same time.
It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve started to give more time to sitting quietly listening to my husband, making sure he has my full attention. Like I used to all those years ago when we were dating. I shut the laptop. I go downstairs and sit on the second step from the bottom, near the chair he finds most comfortable. And I listen.
Already, in an astonishingly short time, his health has improved, and so has our relationship. He feels more heard, more respected, more truly loved. Listening to him proves that I do love him.
All this made me see – God wants the same sort of attention from me. I’ve been doing my relationship with God the same way as my relationship with my husband. The time He wants with me isn’t just me giving Him a fraction of my attention while I do other things, or me asking Him for what I want from Him. Writing Christian books for Him isn’t enough to show I love Him.
God wants me to show that I love and respect him by being still and listening to Him.
So, I have no idea when my next book will be released. But I do know that God loves me enough to ask me to slow down and rest in Him, so He can prove to me just how much He loves me and wants to support and care for me.
And He loves you the same way too.
To those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ.
Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!
Jude 1,2, The Message