Make sure you’re not all work and no pray

Busyness is no excuse for becoming out of touch with Jesus In the Bible it is recorded several times that Jesus would withdraw himself into a quiet place to pray.

For years it never occurred to me that it may be beneficial to take some quiet time in solitude.

The words ‘rest’, ‘quiet’ and ‘peace’ were not in my vocabulary. My calling was not to be a monk somewhere on a deserted mountain. I had places to go, people to see and things to do.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “you will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” I didn’t have “perfect peace” because there was a world out there that needed me, and if I did not attend to it, the universe might come to an end.

Besides quiet time was a waste of my life. Even when I tried to slow down I felt guilty and only thought about all the things I should be doing.

Most of my life I would hide behind busyness. I was addicted to work in the fast lane. I was on a speeding locomotive and didn’t know how to get off, even if I wanted to.

The hurried stream of everyday life was for me a type of hypnosis that kept me in constant motion. Being a workaholic is very acceptable in our society. My bosses loved me and I would flaunt all my reference letters to anyone who would look.

I thought every opportunity I said “yes” to was another feather in my cap, but it was really another rock in my shoe.

Unconsciously I was running away from my problems, trying to bury them with busyness. At times, my intense workload kept my mind off my problems, acting as my soother. Yet the more I ran away from the difficulties that I should have been dealing with, the worst they became.

It was like a monster growing in my closet. The more I neglected and ignored it, the bigger and stronger it grew, making it even more difficult to deal with. I was in a vicious cycle. My job, unlike my personal life, offered validation for all my energies being poured out. I received pats on the back, acknowledgment of my efforts and even financial rewards.

At home, though, I felt taken advantage of, receiving very little recognition and I was drained financially.

Life in the fast lane fed me daily doses of adrenaline. My addiction was so intense that eventually when I was forced to take some time off, I actually experienced withdrawal symptoms.

I would pace the empty halls in our house, morning The Good Old Days. It was too painful to sit down for more than five minutes. I could not focus or concentrate on anything else except my grief in being thrown off the high-speed train. I was similar to the Israelites fantasizing about Egypt. Oh yes, we can all make excuses for our off-the-wall behaviour. But addiction to work is not a time for excuse.

Sometimes the truth is a sharp knife that cuts deep into the layers of denial and neglect. Facing and admitting our relationship problems, financial problems or health problems is not for the faint-hearted.

This is when we need the help of God and others to bring our lives back into alignment. It’s time to come into the light, repent of prayerlessness and stop hiding behind busyness.