Stop The World...

Jeanette Berry, November 1990

If there were one word to characterize my days, it would be the word BUSY.  The alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. and we hit the floor running.  Falling into bed totally exhausted between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. we anticipate the following day will be just as full and perhaps even more hectic.  Sundays, the proverbial day of rest, is our busiest day of the week.  Mentally, physically and emotionally we are drained when night comes.  Monday morning we leave for work tired and seemingly never get rested up.  One busy day follows another and soon we look at one another and (half jokingly) say, "Stop the world, I want to get off!"

Are others as busy or is this a malady which afflicts a pastor's family?  Are we truly overloaded, or do we just have a tendency to complain?  (I don't think so.).  Should we thank God literally, for the privilege of being able to keep such a schedule, or should we look upon it as a problem that could and should be remedied?  I don't have satisfactory answers to these questions.  I wish I did.  So until I receive more insight on the matter, my plan is as follows:

1.  Give God First Priority.
The Bible on tape (and CD) has been a lifesaver to me.  After reading the Bible through year after year I incorporated tapes into my schedule.  I felt guilty about it, thinking I was short-changing God, until my husband pointed out Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is he that readeth and they that HEAR..."  God's blessing is on both.  Now I either use the time I am doing my hair and make-up to listen or as I drive to school.  I like to saturate myself in His Word and meditate all day long.

2.  Personal Health and Care.
I have found this area vital because when I do not feel well EVERYTHING bothers me.  I can become depressed and moody, making my family miserable.  I find myself tempted to take offense in someone's unintentional remark.  I lose my energy and life becomes dull and lifeless.

I could go on and on about the negative results of personal neglect, but if you remember that first of all your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  I am confident that God expects you to give care to His temple.  It is also your only vehicle to witness and serve Him.  Take the time and put forth the effort to feel good.

3.  My Husband.
It is shocking that my relationship with my husband is third on my list.  However, if I am not right with God, and if I personally feel lousy, how could I possibly be a helper to him or make him happy?  The loving relationship we share didn't just happen.  It is carefully nurtured and tended by both of us.  Next to our faith and salvation, it is our most cherished possession.

Time is one of the key elements.  Time to talk, to laugh, to be together, to have fun and to share.  What ever else must be left undone, or done without, so be it.  We just want to be together enjoying our relationship as husband and wife.

4.  Work.
The one thing that takes up the major part of the day for each of is what we call "work".  My work as an interpreter is not physical labor, but it encompasses two very important things, time and emotional energy.  I am very selfish  with these.  I want them to be given to God and to my family.  It is here that my conflict of "busyness" gives me problems.  Is my work as an interpreter God's will for my life.  If no, then quit.  If yes, then I am suspicious of an attitude problem.

How do I fix an attitude problem?  A little poem that I heard years ago seems to say it best:

"I am only one
But I am one.
I can not do everything,
But I can do something.
That which I can do
By the grace of God, I will do"

When we get to the place of stopping the world because we want to get off,  it is time to reassess our priorities and the use of our time and energy.



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