a response to busyness

I think God is trying to tell me something. He usually is. During my quiet time this morning I wrote "I just want to feel your presence." Sidney wrote an amazing post today that really spoke to my heart. Become one with the clutter. HAHA... kind of silly, but so powerful.

Then I recieve this email that totally blows my mind...
Some of you wont read the whole thing, but at least read the parts I emphasized. 
{from Girlfriends in God}

August 8, 2012
The Ache for Something More
Sharon Jaynes
Today's Truth
"We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing" (Psalm 39:6 NLT).
Friend to Friend
Most of us come to Christ with a certain"inloveness"—a stirring of emotion mixed with an inexplicable knowing that we've discovered our reason for being. But some years into our spiritual journey, the wonder that swelled during the early years ebbs into routine religion laced with busyness. And we secretly question the point of it all. There has to be more than this, we muse. There has to be something more. What am I missing? What's wrong with me? I'm doing all the right things, but God seems so far away. I'm trying as hard as I can, but it never seems to be enough. What does God really want from me anyway?
I try to start each day with quiet time, scripture reading and prayer. I try to have a God-focused day. Is something wrong with me? Do other women feel this emptiness too? Should I be feeling something more? What more should I be doing? I know Christ loves me, but something is missing and I don't even know what it is. What should I do? 
—Stephanie (Not her real name. Used by permission.)

Perhaps you can relate. You long to feel close to God but sense there's just something lacking, that you've missed the mysterious formula to make it happen. I call this a "glory ache" —a persistent longing to experience God's presence on a daily basis. Perhaps like most women, you've tried desperately to balance the montage of mundane demands and somehow slip God into the white spaces that are few and far between. You long to spend time in the sacred with God, but find the desire crowded out by the responsibilities of the secular—the daily demands—that lay claim to your attention. You yearn to experience God's presence, but feel far away from Him as you reach to click off the bedside lamp and collapse exhausted once again. Maybe tomorrow, you sigh.
For decades, as I have had the privilege of ministering to women, I have heard the same heart-cry from those who desire to have a deep, intimate, exuberant relationship with Christ but don't know how to find it.
Here's part of one email:
Here's the crux of my problem. After I gave my life to Christ, I joined a church and began reading the Bible daily. Yet, I never experienced that overwhelming feeling of change that so many others experience. In my quiet times, when I seek to know Him better and wait quietly for answers, I do not get the nudges that others talk about. I know that some people hit rock bottom and then experience a dramatic life change accompanied by an emotional high. I sometimes wonder if I will have to experience some great trial in order to have the wonderful feelings of a true relationship with Christ.
The travesty is that we allow the busyness of life to crowd out the Source of life. As the Psalmist wrote, "We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing" (Psalm 39:6 NLT). Ann Voskamp echoes that lament: "In a world addicted to speed, I blur the moments into one unholy smear."
And in that unholy smear, that blur of the world passing quickly by, we know something's not quite right. So we strike out to make it all better. And most of us are quick to think 'something more' means 'doing more.' We ramp it up and gun the engines—sign up for a new committee, volunteer for a new cause, bake one more casserole to feed the sick. We attempt to silence the hunger pains of the heart by feeding it the bread and water of duty. And at the end of the day, while we might feel a self-induced sense of well-being, the hollowness in our soul that can only be satisfied with God echoes with the grumblings of hunger still.
We long for a sense of closeness with God, but we have a hard time putting our finger on exactly what that closeness would look like. It's just something more. Something different. A flavor we have yet to taste. A country we have yet to visit. A sunset we have yet to experience. A lover we have yet to embrace. There has to be something more, we cry! And we are quite right. We are craving the closeness that comes with an intimate relationship with Jesus.
So we try so harder. We go to Bible studies, attend church, say our prayers, and read our devotions. Check, check, check. And yet, we constantly feel that we are somehow letting God down. With the last amen of the day, we sigh, What more does God want from me?

After reading that I stopped at my desk. Closed my eyes, and felt the Lord's presence. I told Him he was welcome in my day and that I longed for constant intimate communion with him. 

I am that girl in that email. I feel like i do it all, but I'm just missing something. I've checked all the boxes, but some days it's just not right. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone. I'm grabbing hold of my relationship with Christ.


Faith Konrath said...

Megan this is EXACTLY what I have needed to read. I completely relate...like at the end of a busy day, looking back and feeling like nothing substantial was accomplished. It's horrible! Thank you for the encouragement:)

amy and jesse hudson said...

Really thought provoking, Megan! I'm chewing over why we so often, as was mentioned in the last line of the email you shared, feel like we are letting God down. We are big box-checkers, in a sense, and have a love/hate relationship with ourselves when it comes to our "performance" spending time with God. I'm thinking about how Paul compared the Christian life to a race as opposed to a ladder or something like that. I know lots of people who talk about their Christian walk more in terms of a ladder than a steady race towards heaven. They feel like they area closer to or farther from God at a given moment, and where they feel like they are is based on just that - a feeling. Paul did way more talking about living out our love and devotion to God in our actions. Loving our neighbor, being compassionate and patient with our spouse, living lives of integrity, etc. And I know my temptation has been to either feel like I'm either "doing a good job" or i'm not, and most of the time that goodness is measured by a time of set aside prayer or bible reading. While those things fuel me and help me grow in the knowledge of and friendship with my savior, my daily obedience and worship to him are found in how I live out my life. I have been thinking about this and it gives me a sense of freedom from the condemnation that comes sometimes from the "ladder" mentality and helps me embrace the "race" mentality. I like how you responded to the email by inviting Jesus into your day intentionally - and just setting your mind on him as a focus to your day. Sometimes we don't experience the joys of his presence or answered prayers or obedience to his nudges simply because we don't take the time to invite him to be lord over our day. He would be anyway, but us asking gets our minds in the right place - ready to listen to his voice, think about his word, or obey his promptings.
Sorry for all the rambling. Just thinking out loud.
See how much your post got me thinking?
Be blessed! Thanks for sharing your heart :)


Sarah said...

So true and such a powerful reminder. Beautiful!

kelli@eatprayreadlove. said...

It is so true. I can easily go days without spending much alone time with God- this would not work in my marriage relationship! I find that when I do put in the time, that God continually blesses it.
thanks so much for sharing!

Clever Blonde -Donna G said...

Hi Megan, I intended to leave a comment next time I dropped in to thank you for encouraging me in the Lord. Your blog has been a blessing in the few short days I've been reading. Today's post serves to remind me the importance of having a quiet time, of making time regardless of how much I might have to do. I also agree with Amy. I've found I the past I can have my quiet time and then run off to my day's activities and forget Him. My Christian walk is better when I remember to share every moment of my day with Jesus. Thank you.

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