Does your life feel chaotic? Are you frantic and stressed? A recent study reported that sixty percent of Americans admit to living a life that’s out of control. Being “busy” has become a national status symbol.
But the Bible cautions against this kind of lifestyle. “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap,” (Luke 21:34).
You know you’re too busy, if you can’t finish the book you just purchased on stress.
When life gets chaotic, it’s easy to become scattered and not do anything well. It’s also easy to become reactive; suddenly what’s urgent takes the place of what’s important. You become frantic and stressed, which takes a toll both emotionally and physically.
Job put it this way, “My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy,” (Job 9:25).
But God has a better plan.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls,” (Matthew 11:28-29).
God wants to help us make the most of our time. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom,” (Psalm 90:12).
DROP THE MASK OF CHAOS: 4 STEPS TO SANITY
1. *Identify your unique values. Ask yourself what you value as a family and what you want to accomplish. “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls…,” (Jeremiah 6:16).
2. Identify your single most important objective. What’s the one thing you could do during the next six months that would advance your family forward? Also, remember: You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything. What will last? “A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth,” (Proverbs 17:24).
3. Check your progress regularly. Evaluate where things are going. “Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind,” (Proverbs 21:5, MSG).
4. Focus on the eternal. At the end of life, nobody ever says, “I wish I could’ve spent another day at the office or one more night out with the boys.” Ask yourself: “What difference does what I’m doing make in light of eternity?”
The secret to living a life of intentionality and purpose is to focus on the eternal.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is,” (Ephesians 5:15-17).
* Steps one through three taken from “The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family” by Patrick Lencioni.