"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 4:4-7
Do you ever feel the so-called tyranny of the urgent?
It’s hard to live intentionally. So many things compete for our attention. So many things require our time, our talent, our treasure. We quickly get spread too thin. We do too much to do any of it very well.
Sometimes we feel the weight of others’ expectations and we don’t want to let them down. We want to come through for them. They ask something of us. It seems small and inconsequential by itself and so we “cave” and say “yes.” But when added to the symphony of responsibilities already playing in the background of our lives, our symphonies quickly descend into a cacophony of craziness.
Maybe it’s the boss who wants you to stay after for just a few minutes, but it’s never just a few minutes. Maybe it’s the extra money that you don’t really have for the family vacation. Maybe it’s the phone call that just keeps going on and on and on and on.
It’s not that these are bad things. They’re usually good things and that’s what makes them so difficult. We’re pulled away from the truly great things in favor of the "good enough" things.
Other times, it’s just the unexpected twists and turns of life. Detour after detour seems to delay God’s vision for our life time and, at least from our perspective, put it completely out of reach. An illness. A lawsuit. A project gone haywire at work.
And, yes, let’s be frank: sometimes our reserves are wasted on the selfishness and wickedness of others. We’re falsely accused. We’re victimized. We’re harassed. We’re oppressed. We’re forced to react and the reaction takes precious resources better and more justly spent elsewhere.
With expectations heaping, detours-a-plenty, and evil abounding, we come to live more reactively than proactively. We often live by accident more than by intent. It’s discouraging.
This raises a profound question for us as individuals: How do we rise above the world’s noise to hear the call of God?
One way that Jesus did it was by withdrawing to solitary places to pray. Jesus wasn't about his own will or the collective wills of the multitude around him. Ultimately, he was about his Father's will, and he took the time to seek it quietly through prayer.
Child of God: Likewise, when life's pressures mount, let them press you closer to your Father in Heaven. Not only does God promise to hear your prayers. He promises to answer them with his wisdom, as well as his peace (James 1:5; Philippians 4:4-7).
You're loved. Don't forget it.
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