By Mark Walz
I heard the other day from a former colleague and boss of mine about what it means to prioritize the most important things in our lives; how it is a holy thing and to eliminate those things that can be done by others and those things that do not need to be done. This was a practical side of a great sermon on the simple holy life of a Christian. And it was a great reminder of the sheer fact that in order to keep our lives from becoming cluttered and overwhelming, we must routinely take stock of our lives and eliminate things that are draining and unnecessary. Sadly, it is not something we only need to do once and then never have to do again. It is a thing we do over and over again - a thing I heard once defined simply as ‘focusing.’ But how is this part of our Christian life?
I think if we are honest with ourselves, it is all too easy to slip into a busy schedule. And more often than we realize, this busyness is not godliness — it is the opposite of godliness. For when we are overwhelmingly busy, we have no room for God to bring someone or something else into our lives. With an all too busy schedule, we have determined for ourselves what is most important and told God subconsciously that He does not have the right to interrupt our very important day. Looking back into biblical history, we find the institution of the Sabbath as the routine in which God challenges this idea. By saying to His creation that you are not allowed to fill everyday with busyness He forces us all to reckon with the fact that we are not ultimately in control nor in charge of our successes or failures. We cannot put everything into place and fill every moment in order to guard our life from failure or need — it is impossible. And the Sabbath makes us recognize that it is impossible. The Sabbath was and is a counter cultural sign to us and to the world that we depend and trust in Christ for our needs and not ourselves.
So, not only should we continue to keep the Sabbath holy, in many respects we should look upon every day. And we need to analyze those things we ought to cast aside, give to someone else, or lay at the feet of the King. Take some time to think once again, 'what do I need to focus on?' 'What do I need to let go?' 'Have I placed more trust in my ability than in the power of the Spirit of God to shape the things to come?’ May we all learn to prioritize and focus by learning to trust in God.