Walking out my purpose and becoming my best is not found in being busy.
It was typed out in the format of a story inside the church bulletin when I first read it. I didn’t have a sense of spirituality as a teen, but I remember reading how busyness was used by the devil as a distraction. Whatever that meant, I didn’t want to forget it, so I taped it on my wall.
Literally. I taped it on my wall and I looked at it everyday, wondering what it meant. I vowed never to be busy.
Over a decade later, I realized that each day I wrestle with being too busy. I’m not the only one who is wrestles it either. In fact, most don’t even wrestle, but succumb to the expectations to be so busy to where we can’t engage with the matters of life that define us or inspire us. Or to be in a state to receive revelation or exercise the creativity within us. Being busy keeps us from realizing what we were born to do.
We all have desires deep within us to be something. To discover and experience that there is more to life than just this. To live with purpose and to make the most of the short days we have on earth, but we don’t. We easily lose hope, seemingly trapped in a rat race of being busy from the moment our alarm wakens us.
Busyness is a devil and a disease. It spoils our mind to be free to perform in the creativity of which we were created to. It greedily takes our time from becoming our best, or even being able to discover what our best could be. It corrupts our boundaries to be intentional about soul-seeking, reflection, and quality conversations of depth, and dwindled down to only reciting bullet points of our day, or checking tasks off our lists.
It happens so often, that we begin to believe that a life worth living is full of busyness. A life full of to-do’s and appointments, that we live life to the margin, no room to slow down.
The best things in life are not found in filling our calendars, but through quality relationships and deeper inner life.
Conversation is intimacy. Whether it’s with a friend or with God. It’s intimacy. It’s not about giving someone your list of accomplished tasks of the day, it comes down to the matters of the heart. Slowing down enough to connect, listen, share, and encourage.
The very thing people fear; is their own heart or what God would say back. But this sacred place of intimacy is what reaps divine rewards that busyness could never compare to, so why do we go back to being busy again? I do this to myself all the time! This is the place we find connection our souls are wired to function at its best. But why do we fear becoming our best? To fear what we are capable of?
That’s what it is. We fear the very thing we are capable of when we look in the mirror, but spend our lives living in mediocracy wondering why we aren’t something more. Well, God already created that something more within us, and by seeking him as we look into that mirror, he shows us our hearts. He shows us what we are capable of with him, but we need to slow down enough to engage, to seek, to ask, to knock, to listen, and to receive. That’s where we see our best.
However, I am guilty of being busy. I am guilty of saying yes and never being able to keep up. Literally over 13,000 emails that don’t stop coming in. My phone that may as well be surgically attached to my body that developed a little voice, “Hey, have you checked me in the last 1.3 seconds? You might miss something. Hey… hey… heyyyyyyyyy.”
How did I allow the voice of an inanimate object become louder than God?
Taking a deep breath, I pray, “God, what matters most today?”
It’s slowing down to connect with Him. In that place I am built up, encouraged, empowered, and inspired. From there, I want to share the very things He pours into me.
It usually never involves answering endless texts, emails, and facebook notifications, but that’s usually where I get stuck. It’s my own fault for being stuck and I’m the only one to get myself unstuck.
I do say yes to getting coffee with a good friend or two that are not only facing the same direction who longs for more than superficial living and conversation, but who draws out the best in you. These few people are gifts! Cherish them!
In a way, God wants each of us to see the gifts he has put within us. He longs to draw it out of us, so he’ll put others in our lives that do the same. There is so much packed up within us, God wants to unravel it, sort it, and weave it back together including himself. He does the weaving, while he is also woven in and through us.
Jeana and I typically meet every week. The veil is torn in our friendship, where we don’t apologize for crying nor try to put on a mask. We share victories, dreams, questions, the cries of our hearts, struggles, and fears. God is alive in our friendship and conversation.
She welcomed me with a hug and an Americano, “Ah girl, how are you?”
I searched for an authentic answer with my authentic friend that authentically cared.
“I’m doing okay. I am working to not say yes to everyone, to schedule less, so I can live more. I want to be doing what I crave to be doing, not being busy and checking off tasks.”
We were sitting at this point and her eyes were big and holding on to every word I spoke, so I continued to share my thoughts on how much I loathed busyness and how it stole from living a more intentional and purposeful life. I felt that passion rise up within me, for I struggled each day being a people pleaser and bending over backwards for others.
“I am letting go of old habits of people pleasing and letting go of saying yes to everybody and everything. I want to be intentional with who I am with, who I am investing into. I mean, life is so short, I want to be free to be who I am created to be, and walk in the fullness of it. I can’t when I am busy all day long. I want the fullness of God and what He has for me. Being busy takes me further away from that.”
At this point I tears were trickling down her face. “Bailey, you are speaking to my heart’s cries right now.”
I love that we have the openness of tears in the middle of a coffee shop. I love that when we are anywhere, almost nothing else exists but that moment. The words or impressions on our mind are shared unfiltered, and the space to share them are not judged.
Jeana is my favorite type of people. She’s not afraid to go deep. In fact, that’s where she loves to be. Conversations happen like this almost every time we connect.
She began opening up about the very cries of her heart, the very things she longs for. The Spirit of God guided the questions as I asked her about her hearts cries. Of all days I forgot my journal, I had to settle for a napkin and began jotting things down, for this was about to be a conversation to never forget.
We walked through heart cries, what it means to be free, and what takes up time to keep her from that.
She had come to the point to say, “If I could meet with God, and worship, and just soak, JUST SOAK, in his presence, that’s my heart’s cry. If I did, I would be the best me I could be.”
Then ultimately was guided to ask, “Why aren’t you free?”
She looked down, seemingly didn’t want to admit the answer but we were getting closer to the bullseye.
“The lie and the fear that it wouldn’t make a difference. That all the worship and time, wouldn’t really make a difference…. so I don’t.”
We both knew what the truth was, that most difficult thing was believing it for yourself. Complete difference between knowing and believing. I began drawing a circle around her heart’s cry on our napkin drawing board, and decorating it with stars, “I would be the best me I could be.” I could keep telling her what we both already knew, but it was for her to believe and hear from God himself.
God was encouraging the challenge, as she probably knew it was coming. I asked, “What if you waited on God’s response and what He said about that? What He wants you to believe? Let Him be the one to tell you if it would make a difference, because I believe that God wants you to be the best you can be.”
We looked at our clocks for it was time to to get to work. She stared at the notes on the napkin as we walked through heavy soul searching questions. Discovering the freedom in becoming the ‘best me she could be’, her creativity is unlocked.
“Pray and ask Him, ok?” As I continue scribbling notes, that moment of creativity spoke up and she noticed the way the ink settled,
“Something about the ink melting into the napkin, because you don’t have anything else to write on. It’s brilliant.”
Already tapping into her creativity, excited as my dear friend lives to slow down in order ‘to be the best me she could be.’
As I too, am excited to become the best me I could be.