I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of time. Okay, we really all have the same 24 hours in a day, but it seems like lately, I manage to fill each one of those and still have things that don’t get done. The problem is universal in our society; we’re too busy. We’ve got work to keep us busy – church work, housework, yard work, paperwork, etc. Then, we’ve got to make time for our kids, volunteer at school, help with homework, taxi them wherever they need to be, talk to them about their problems, find essential items for them 5 minutes before we have to leave (how many hours of my life are spent doing this?!), and take time for family worship. On top of that, we have to make time for our spouses, parents, and friends; host Bible studies; practice hospitality; have personal Bible study and prayer; and write a blog post😀. Not to mention the time-sucking black hole that is social media and Netflix!
More often than not, certainly more often than I’d like, I find myself so busy from morning to night that I wonder, “What did I do for God today?” And I’m the PREACHER’s wife. I work at a brotherhood school! My life involves church work in nearly every possible facet, yet I frequently find myself busy, busy, busy not doing my Father’s business. Why is that?! That’s not what I set out to do when I became a preacher’s wife. At the ripe old age of 18, I married my favorite preacher, Westley Hazel, and we were going to set the world on fire. We believed we were like Jeremiah with a fire in our bellies to teach God’s word (Jeremiah 20:9). We fancied ourselves like Paul; woe to us if we did not preach (1 Corinthians 9:16).
Then life happened. Don’t get me wrong; preaching is great! We have had wonderful times in service of His kingdom. However, we’ve also had hard times when we had to make tough decisions to continue preaching even when it wasn’t popular, when it created turmoil in our family, when it cost us friends and homes and jobs. We had some true come-to-Jesus moments when we had to decide if it was worth it. Our thinking was that as “regular members” of a local congregation, we could still serve the Lord without all the drama, right? Except the Bible teaches that all people who live godly lives will face persecution (2 Timothy 3:12), and avoiding a pulpit wouldn’t remove our responsibility to spread the Gospel (Rom. 10:13-14) or contend for the faith (Jude 3). That was the part of Jeremiah and Paul’s message that we really didn’t understand until we lived it (cf. Jeremiah 20 & 1 Corinthians 9).
We needed to remember our first love – living our lives for Christ and sharing Him with others. Our purpose never changed, but we had allowed our circumstances to take our eyes off our goal. When we are not very intentional, it is easy to get off track. And doesn’t Satan love for us to lose sight of what is most important? He’ll use seemingly harmless, daily tasks to keep us so focused on anything but Christ that we suddenly find ourselves too busy doing good to have time for what is truly necessary (Luke 10:42). Hello, Martha, good to see you there in my mirror😑.
When I find myself overwhelmed and overcommitted, I have to stop and take stock. What am I doing that is truly serving God, and what is just taking up my time? What is good, and what is essential? I have one life to live, and I want to spend it in service to Him. So, good-bye Ladies’ Council, and see you later, book club; I’ve got to have at least one free evening each week for evangelism in our home. Hasta la vista, home improvement projects; I need to spend more time in God’s word. So long, running; you were good for me, but I don’t have enough time for you and my family right now. These are all good things that I hope to have time for again someday, but for now, they are just keeping me from my eternal purpose.
Time is fleeting. Our Lord had only three years of ministry on this earth, but what an amazing impact He made in such a short time! I don’t know how many more years I’ll have to serve Him, but, however long it is, I imagine it will be too short. I’ll leave things undone: dirty dishes in the sink, books half read and projects not quite finished. But I have a feeling I’ll be so much less concerned with loads of laundry left unfolded than I’ll be with souls left unsaved. I think I’ll be ever so much more grateful for the time I invested in teaching people about Christ than the time I invested in remodeling my home. Oh, sisters, let’s not grow weary in doing good! “Let’s press on towards our goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). I want to go to heaven and take as many people with me as I can. Who’s with me?