If you’re like me, a month into uni and you can only think ‘okay tomorrow class 9-3, plan for [enter commitment here] and start to think about [enter assignment here], do those readings for class (which I won’t do anyway), finish off that list of things to do, text that person about that thing, call that person to double check that thing, go to [enter extra-curricular here], fit in time to eat, aw I should try read that book and listen to that podcast, I need to see so-and-so, I need to find time to have that meeting with that person too...’ Your brain just runs 100mph and does NOT. SLOW. DOWN. Every year of my life seems to just get busier and busier, and if I’m honest, I love it. I love having things to do and, as nerdy as it sounds, I love having responsibility (it’s just the way I’m wired).
My dad often asks me if I ever rest. Purely just out of parental concern. And I always tell him I do. But the truth is, I don’t have a great work-rest balance. I am getting better and I try to prioritise physical, emotional and spiritual rest. But my brain finds it very hard to slow down and I often find myself burning out. Imagine it like a car. If anyone knows the car I drive you’d know it’s on its last legs. My wagon can’t hold too much weight or drive too fast because it starts to make funny noises that it should definitely not make. Which causes me to just turn up the music and ignore the noises. You may find your life is like this. Mine definitely is. Not the funny noises part, obviously, but that going too fast and taking on too much is not good in any way. One of my favourite books ever is ‘The Hiding Place’ by Corrie Ten Boom, (I’m reading it again now, actually lol) and Corrie says,
“if the Devil can’t make you sin, He’ll make you busy.”
And that is so true, and what I am about to say is not to undermine those words in any way, but... the Devil can’t have what belongs to God. I go to Stranmillis and we have a security guard called Raymond and he is one of the most amazing men of God I have ever met. So encouraging and so prayerful over our campus. There are times I just pray that Raymond is on duty the stran gate when I’m going back to campus just so I can chat to him and be encouraged by him. One day, Raymond was on the gate and he reminded me of that verse in 1 Peter that could roll of the tongue of so many believers, ‘cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you.’
What!! Read that 7 times PLEASE.
There’s another verse that stays as a widget on the home screen of my phone, 1 Corinthians 6:20, “for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” The context of this verse regards sexual immorality but this verse could stand alone. It all has to come back to the cross. If Jesus paid it all for me, then I owe it all to Him. You might be thinking that that’s just one more thing to add to the list of things to think about. But I had to realise that God loves me so much that He says He’ll carry everything for me. But I had to give it to Him first. Imagine this, you’re carrying a really heavy box up a bunch of stairs. Someone much stronger and able-bodied, comes along and offers to carry it for you. You say, ‘yes oh myyy’. But instead of handing it over, you continue to carry it up the stairs, struggling in every step you take.
So when we live our lives like this. We have said ‘yes!!’ to God, but not ‘yes!!’ to handing everything over to Him. And it’s this mistake that prevents us from finding ‘joy in chaos’ and ‘peace that makes no sense’ (Firm Foundation – TUNE). I have a BUSY schedule, and I’m learning to say no to things. But what I do with everything, with every commitment... I hand it over to God. He’s the one that keeps it away from the Devil and uses it for good and makes it holy. And when I become weary and heavy-laden (Ma[hew 11v28), when I have let myself get burnt out from trying to take control, I get to go to God and give it to Him all over again.