I’m gonna do a Go-Back in my Journal Time Machine….not too far back, though.
I was reading and reviewing a few things that I had written, and this entry reminded me of a poignant moment that I feel like I need to share now. I wrote it towards the end of April, just after going through three weeks of mental, physical, internal, external, and schedule-induced busy-ness. Without going to too much detail, I had a project at work that took me 3 weeks to complete, with everything ramping up to the last day. There were issues at home that needed to be addressed. There were people that needed to be addressed. I had duties from church, home, homeschool, work that just kept on piling up because I just couldn’t address them all at their appointed time. Some things fell by the wayside. Some things got done. Some problems got resolved. And some problems lingered. I didn’t sleep much, either.
All in all, those 3 weeks (and even a couple of weeks prior to) were just a storm of things happening….seen, and unseen. And somehow, I had to keep myself together through it all….which, I probably did….more or less.
Some people would call that “Stressed”. Some would say, “Overwhelmed.” Others, “Flooded.” I just call it “too busy”. I’m sure a lot of us have similar “moments of turbulence.”
But I did notice one thing…I felt empty. I felt like I was running on empty. I felt a hunger. A lack. There was something missing. In heart, in mind, in my relationships. I was straining, trying to make it on my own, trying to make sense of it all and reason it out.
But I couldn’t figure it out.
Then, it hit me, as I sat, being taught, at church. And I wrote the following:
I miss God.
I’ve been so busy with work and family that I allowed my “life” to push Him out.
I’m running on empty.
A spiritual empty.
And I haven’t been going back to be re-filled.
It gets easier to be tempted
to get angry
and in the Adversary’s power.
I haven’t been reading the scriptures
nor have I been praying.
I haven’t filled my mind with the things of God.
I’ve filled myself with useless things,
I’ve immersed myself with busy-ness
and neglected my relationship with the Father.
I’ve become Selfish.
allowed me to
push Him out.
It’s become harder to hear the whisperings of the Spirit.
I haven’t received my streams of ideas.
(I am not inspired. Understanding doesn’t come as easily as before.)
The Spirit struggles to prompt me,
and I struggle to hear Him.
I’ve lost desire for doing His work…right now.
(Maybe later, though…but then I lose interest…)
and I struggle to find purpose
in my own work.
But…in all this…the thought comes:
and you’ll find Me.
You know, it’s always hard to recognize it when it’s happening. When you’re doing something you feel is important, you always want to think that this is something that you need to be doing now. It’s something that you ought to be doing now. It needs to be done now. And so, you’re gonna do it now.
What I don’t often realize is how those things seem to take precedence over my small moments with God. Sometimes, it’s just that time to pray in the morning…to check in with Him….before I start my day….to show Him that He’s the first on my To-Do list for the day. Sometimes, it’s just the time to read the scriptures during my lunch time…as my time to refuel my heart and spirit and think upon His things for a moment. Sometimes, it’s that conversation that leads to the things He teaches or this blog where I get to search things out and explain things as I search.
Regardless of how busy my day is, I realize that I need God to be a part of my day…or my day just tends to push Him out. Too many of us are busy-bodies, running around, trying to maintain life (as it were), keep up with the kids, the family, and just do those things we need to do. Too many of us are out doing our hobbies, our playtime, our entertainment, our vacations. Not that any of these are “bad” per se….it’s just I feel like our culture of unending To-Dos and Bucket Lists keep us way too busy to have God in our life. We just let life push Him out.
It’s easy to miss God when God is missing from your life.
And that’s really the objective of the Adversary (the big guy downstairs). He knows he can’t replace God. He knows he can’t overpower Him. But if he can turn our focus away from God, even for a moment…and then keep that focus so busy, so distracted, so tired, that we don’t think to refocus back to God again…then it’s easier for him to keep leading us away from God. If he can block our view of God with something else, anything else, as long as it adds that bit more distance between us and God, then it’s easy to keep pushing us towards ANYWHERE ELSE away from God. It doesn’t matter how noble it seems, how beautiful it looks, how productive it is, or how damaging it is…as long as it leads us away from God and keeps us from seeing Him…then he’s succeeded.
But God, our Father, loves us…and knows that this will happen, which is probably why He’s eternally patient, and He’ll send someone or something to help remind us again of Him. To help us refocus again to Him. That’s the job of the Holy Ghost. That’s the job of his Messengers, even the Prophet, Apostles, Teachers, Missionaries, and all those who hear His voice and follow it. That’s the job of Jesus Christ, His church, His followers. That’s the job of the scriptures. That’s the job of Tragedies, Trials, and Problems. That’s the job of Guilt, of Conscience, of Sorrow and Sadness, of Regret, and even Joy and Success. That’s the job of Love, Forgiveness, and Restitution.
All of these are God’s post-it notes to remind us of Him….and to remind us to turn to Him, and spend time with Him.
And the simplest way to do that?
Pray. Because there’s someone on the other side who’ll answer that spiritual phone call. There really is. And it’s a direct line to the Father. It’s an encrypted phone call. Pray in your heart and mind. The guy downstairs will never know what’s spoken between you and the Father. Not unless and until you speak it out and act on it. But those personal reassurances, those words of encouragement, the thoughts that come, the feelings you get…that’s a communication between you and the Father. None of the best decryption techniques in this world will ever decode what your spirit calls out to the Father, nor what he replies back to you in return. No one can tap into that.
So, spend time with Him. In all your busyness, make it your business to make God, our Father, a part of your day.
Ever since I wrote that account I just shared with you, I’ve been trying to pray more each day. I’ve been trying to include God into my schedule, make him first before I do anything else. And if it doesn’t happen, I try to keep him in my mind as much as I can during my quiet moments. I strive to read the scriptures in my spare time. And when I’m not reading them, I’m thinking about them and what they mean and how I can use the things I’ve read every day. Practical application, you know.
And you know what?
I feel better.
I am filled.
I have a better sense of my day.
I have a greater strength to avoid temptation.
I am happier.
Things come to my mind easier.
My relationships with others turn out better.
I can deal with problems better.
All because I started putting God back into my schedule, my life, my thoughts, my heart.
When you give God your time, you’ll find that He gives you His time…and more.
Take time for God, and He’ll take time for you.
Seek Him…and you’ll find Him.