My visit to the post office to report a missing package with tracking resulted in frustration and disbelief. Hearing “next” was music to my ears, but I observed that the clerk was focused on the two envelopes that I placed on the counter. As I explained the dilemma, I thought, “Okay, she is not paying attention.” And yes, her response, “You will have to take the mail to another post office for correction of your mailing address,” confirmed that she did not listen to the spoken words regarding the missing package.
We are inundated from sensory overload, job responsibilities, family matters, and so many unexpected challenges that we have lost the attention span required for effective communication, logical deduction, and a well-organized lifestyle. It is not uncommon to explain more than once or assist the customer service rep to resolve the issue.
For the believer, we face another challenge: Putting God first. One of the easiest habits to form is placing God last on our to-do list. We are continuously exhausted. Unable to concentrate, we reschedule our daily Bible study, mumble a short ritualistic prayer, and promise to do better the next day. Our relationship with God quickly becomes non-existent. We become desensitized as we self-program automated responses to the escalating stress of busyness.
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. Some people do realize they are burned out, but lack the mental and physical strength to initiate change. Take a mental health day and develop strategies for reorganization. Red flags–physical exhaustion, decrease in productivity and interest in fun activities along with increased heartrate and blood pressure are a few of the signs of continual stress. Ineffective habits are an accelerant that eventually push us to reach the breaking point. Either we develop an action plan to prevent serious and unnecessary consequences, or when unexpected challenges arise, we will not have the mental and emotional resources to resolve our life-events.
Busyness has no conscience or restraints–always seeking to consume us like an out-of-control wildfire. Where do we begin? Create a balanced and realistic schedule starting with the #1 power-draining source: the job. Unless you are self-employed, 40 hours per week is more than enough to give to someone else’s company. Take a calendar and prioritize your schedule–if you have a family then the entire family should be involved in the strategic planning of decluttering and downsizing the giant to-do lists. Make an exclusion list of all non-productive, time-wasting activities, and stick to it.
Living a double life takes a toll on humanity. Whether we are self-employed or working for an employer, adhering to company policies require structure and discipline. Unfortunately, it is our personal lives that are usually out-of-sync and loaded with most of the unnecessary stressors. Perform a thorough evaluation of your lifestyle. It may take giant leaps to incorporate structure and discipline into your lifestyle. Remain flexible, but not to the point that progress is hindered. An honest self-assessment identifying negative traits such as procrastination or always running late will promote equilibrium in your safe haven, and mind-body.
God has a no-fail remedy for our busyness, which He established at the end of creation. And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27.
And on the seventh day, God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Genesis 2:2-3
The spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical renewal and revitalization during the 24 hours of the Sabbath cannot occur with any other activity or inactivity. Sabbath-keepers enjoy the evidence-based blessings of peace, joy, increased energy, and decreased mental, emotional, and physical health issues. Most importantly, our faith and trust in God become pillars during the stormy trials. We can laugh out loud every day despite our challenges.
The Sabbath provides long-lasting energy for the other six days. We do not require caffeinated stimulants to get us through our day. Growing closer to God gives us the desire to treat our bodies as the temple of God [Read 1 Corinthians 3:16]. We live to please God when our love for Him strengthens and grows deeper. Choosing and cooking healthy nutrients consisting of super-foods promote strength, building of the immune-system, and provide aging-retardant qualities. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31.
When fed properly, our bodies function at their optimal level. We are rewarded with extra energy that acts as a catalyst to exercise our bodies daily. Search for a place where you are surrounded by the plant kingdom. Being in nature gives us the chance to appreciate the environment that God lovingly gave to us for our enjoyment. Birds, butterflies, the trees standing as soldiers, and the diversity of the beautiful flowers speak to our entire psyche and reminds us that God is the Master Designer.
Remember, God is not a religion or a denomination. He is our Creator and our Heavenly Father who always knows what is best for us. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Keeping the Sabbath is a personal choice. During my adolescence, I was the only Sabbath-keeper in my family. Not all family members will agree, but start with you. Make and share a list of the activities you will not participate in from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. You will be surprised at the restoration that takes place each week as you begin to relax and enjoy time with God. You will feel energized and refreshed from studying the Bible, praying, listening to inspirational music along with extra sleep or peaceful moments. I frequently enjoy worshipping God in nature on the Sabbath.
Preparing for the Sabbath occurs during the six days of the week to perform our time-consuming tasks. [Read Exodus 20:8-11]. When our relationship with God is built on love and devotion, we receive spiritual strength. God honors our obedience by giving us unexpected blessings. Many self-help books and sleep apps use marketing tactics to promote peace and wellness. Yet, they are no competition against the Creator. It costs nothing to accept God’s weekly sabbatical as the only plan that promotes wellness and results in spiritual victory.
And today, I discovered that we have another money-maker, authors scripting the various ways to hear God’s voice, God speaks for himself: Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10. We have the Trinity, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit who can speak to us at any time. God created us with a soul that stays connected to Him. It is our faithful prayers that invite the Holy Spirit, our Teacher to relay the Voice of God. Have you ever had a thought of how to solve a problem, warning of pending danger, recognition of a false teaching, answer to an exam question, a scripture that you finally understand, or received comfort during a season of darkness?
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
Take charge of the busyness that threatens your well-being by giving the Creator the opportunity to change your life.
Prayer: God, we are weary and worn from the busyness that we presently have no control over. We pray for the wisdom and the strength to renovate our present lifestyles. May we have the courage to embrace and receive the gift of the Sabbath. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson