How to Avoid the Holiday Hustle and Bustle

You’re in. Sold out. You want to give God everything. But something within you begs the question, “Now what? What does that mean? How do I know I’m doing what God wants me to do? How do I️  make the best use of my time? Because, when I️ look at the hustle and bustle, I️ don’t know how to step aside.”

Your Time is God’s Time

It’s not a mathematical equation. Nor a predicted procedure. Likewise, it’s not the same for you as it may be for someone else. In all honesty, it is handing your life over and saying, “But God. I’m yours. I’m all in. It is all about taking your schedule, agenda, and dreams before the throne room in prayer.

We tend to busy ourselves to the point of exhaustion. I confess. I am guilty too. We fill up our to-do lists and overcommit ourselves. Especially around this time of year. It’s no wonder we don’t’ have time to spend with God. There may be some core reasons why this occurs, and I want you to prayerfully consider: Have you overcomplicated your life to the point that you could utter the words, “No room.”

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7

Making Space for Jesus

Oh, how these words of old still ring true for us today. The innkeeper missed out on the birth of Jesus because he had filled his inn to the brim. Yes, he had plenty of excuses amid the holiday hustle and bustle. It was census time in dear ole’ Bethlehem. But to think he could have seen Jesus that night, the King of Kings born in his home! There is no indication that the innkeeper was angry towards God, or unsympathetic to a young couple needing some help. His infamous remarks bear the truth…there was no room in the inn. He was busy with other activities. He had filled his calendar too full. I wonder if any of us can relate? Are we missing out on what God has called us to?

We live busy, hectic, and time-crunched lives. There always seems like there is something to do. We schedule our kids in a zillion activities. Say yes to nearly everything. Maybe it’s because it makes us feel important. Or, possibly it’s because we don’t want to be left out. Could it be we disdain the silence of being left alone in a room? Or could it because it is Christmas? Like millions of other people, our lives are consumed. Not necessarily with sinful activity, but filled to the brim. Parties, sporting events, shopping, chores, work…somehow we try to squeeze it all in. It is the clutter of activity that leaves many of us overly preoccupied and missing out on what God has in store.

God Exists in the Average

We are all human. There are things that we have to do…like taxi driving and grocery shopping and dusting and mopping the floor. God exists in the routine, ordinary things we do, and can work in us and through us in our ordinary tasks. Not everything we do will have the label “ministry” or “church” as a hashtag.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Col. 3:23-24

But I want you to take an honest appraisal…Have you filled your calendar with too much? Have activities taken precedence over spending time with God? Be brave, Sister. Do you need to learn to say “No”?

Willing to Say “No”

We will need to be brave to take a stand to do what God is calling us to do. We will have to make tough choices. It may mean missing out on time with dear friends or feeling left out of the crowd or missing a festive holiday party. But please hear this from a gal who has traveled here…it will be worth the sacrifice. Following after God with all of our heart, soul, and mind is definitely worth the pursuit!

“We should put life in our faith. We should give ourselves utterly to God in pure abandonment, in temporal and spiritual matters alike, and find contentment in the doing of His will, whether he takes us through sufferings or consolations.”–Brother Lawrence, author of The Practice of the Presence of God.

I urge you to continue to seek God for wisdom with your holiday schedule, asking specifically for discretion in your current commitments. You don’t have to attend EVERYTHING in the hustle and bustle. Did you ever consider that God has a purpose for you in every moment? If you are too tired or exhausted to keep up the pace, go ahead and call an audible. You can take a time-out. Stay at home. With Jesus, there is no pressure to keep up with the Jones’.

How are you preserving time during the holidays to spend time with Jesus?