“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Busyness as Usual, by Randall D. Kittle

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The Lord spoke to me saying, “Behold these people, they have made busyness their main business. They are so busy trying to get ahead that they do not hear My voice nor heed My Word.” With that I saw a wide treadmill with hundreds of people on it all running at the same time. Some seemed to be jogging while others were sprinting with all their might. They all appeared very focused on getting ahead (you could see most of them looking to the sides to see how they were doing compared to others), but none of them ever really pulled ahead, for they were all on the same giant treadmill. Suddenly, it was as if the treadmill belt snapped and flew up to form a giant circle. Now, the runners appeared to be running on a giant, hamster wheel. They were all going as fast as they could. The wheel was spinning around even more quickly, but they were getting nowhere!

Then once again I heard the voice of the Lord declare,
“Even My Church is too busy — too busy to do what I have created for them to do, and too busy to be My true friends.” With that I saw a candle with the phrase “Live for God” written on its side. When the top was lit, it turned sideways and I noticed both the top and bottom were burning. Soon the candle that burned on both ends simply said “Live for Go!”

Making Good Time
The tempo of our day is at a hectic pace, and that is not a marvel but a tragedy. The greatest catastrophe in our day isn’t a massive earthquake, a huge flood, or a terrible tsunami. It is the fact that most of mankind is too busy to be the very thing for which they were created — the friends and family of God.

While driving to Cooperstown, New York in 1972 to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Yogi Berra and his wife got lost.
“I hope we don’t miss the entire ceremony,” said an anxious Mrs. Berra. To this her husband replied, “We’re lost … but we’re making good time!”

Sadly, Yogi Berra’s words apply to much of the world today. The pace of our society is moving faster than ever before. These hurried times have produced a people so quickly trying to accelerate forward that they have failed to realize they really have no idea where they are going. Nearly every American needs a calendar, a PDA, and numerous phone and computer programs just to remind them of all the appointments and commitments they have to get to. They are making world-record time, but continue to be lost. They try to find the time to do five more things every day, but have never “found themselves.” And they will never find themselves and discover their purpose as the friends of God until they pause and discover they are lost. What a insidious scheme of the enemy, to keep the lost so busily trying to get ahead that they never realize they are lost and going in the wrong direction!

Keep The Candle Burning
That this hectic pace has taken a grip on our society there is no doubt. But that it has greatly impacted the Church is truly a tragedy. Believers across the world are burning the candle at both ends. Sometimes this is done in the name of ministry, but the result is always the same — slowly the focus of our hearts shift from living for God to simply trying to keep going. In his book Root of the Righteous, A. W. Tozer suggests that the greatest reason there is so much “retarded development” in the life of most believers is the failure to give time to the cultivation of the knowledge of God. He says, “Some things may be neglected with little loss to the spiritual life, but to neglect the time to commune with God is to hurt ourselves where we can least afford it.”

The greatest thing the Church can do to help get the lost off the “treadmill of busyness” is to stop burning the candle at both ends themselves. If the exhausted world looks to the Church and just sees someone else trying to keep up, all they will do is pick up the pace. But if they were to see one who has gotten out of the rat race and said, “No!” to burning the candle at both ends, they might actually pause and ponder the possibility that there is more in life than busyness as usual.

Will you say no to the busyness of this world and yes to taking time to be true friends of God? Pray this with me:
Lord, I choose to get off the treadmill. I extinguish the candle at both ends, and choose to truly live my life for You. Help me keep my heart focused upon You. Amen!


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