THERE seem to be times when we're too busy, and others when we're not busy enough! Can we find some way to slow down overly demanding timetables and also to fill up wasted days?
I've found that there is a satisfactory way to balance different legitimate activities. It is increasingly to allow God's control to order our lives, through prayer. In prayer we find ourselves able to put off a restricted sense of our lives by turning to God for guidance that is wiser than our own planning.
Listening for spiritual intuitions that indicate God's guidance of our affairs may reveal surprising directions as to what we need to do. Some time-consuming activities, for example, might be discovered to deserve less emphasis on our agenda than we have given them. Some neglected aspects of potential service may begin to look more vital in the light of obedience to a divine dictate.
The overriding factor in seeking and finding a right balance of activity is the spiritual fact of the true nature of man. In reality man--your and my spiritual identity--is the child, or the idea, of God. And because man is in reality already the spiritual reflection of God, he must truly be evidencing only His constant activity. Christ Jesus, in his ministry of healing and teaching, exemplified the highest human ideal of this true nature of man. He didn't, however, claim this as a personal achievement, but rather as natural divine reflection. He stated, we read in John's Gospel, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
God, the ever-active divine Spirit that Jesus exemplified so fully, is the Father of every one of us. Don't these words of Jesus' indicate the naturalness of each of us expecting his or her own fullness of activity? Jesus' life was not spent busily achieving material goals. He always turned first to God, to know how to "do always those things that please him, as John's Gospel puts it.
Every insight into God's modes of action can help us to improve our own ability to cope with day-to-day demands. For instance, in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, explains: "God rests in action. For a time I though of this spiritual truth only in terms of its describing how God rests--in action. Recently, however, I saw that it can also be thought of in terms of describing how God acts--restfully!
This new perspective on God's way of working helped me to see that how "busy we are depends less on accepting currently common expectations of too much or too little work and more on listening to God and acting obediently. Understanding something of this and recognizing our genuine selfhood as God's reflection, we can increasingly reflect the unstrained divine action in our own lives. As far as we are obeying His will for us, our work can be calm, buoyant, and productive.
To follow increasingly the Master's example of dedicating ourselves to doing those things that please God will continually rectify any imbalance of either underemployment or overwork in our lives. We will be able to find a greater richness of activity in our daily round, activity that is more consistently rewarding and less and less draining. We will begin enjoying practical evidence of the truth of spiritual man, and his constant activity!
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