Busyness–a badge of courage in our society risks becoming a sin of pride. It goes beyond a strong work ethic and service to a place of “doing it all” with calendars filled to the max. Many families are too familiar with drive-thrus and eating on the go. Many a family van turns into a taxi. Kids are in so many activities they hardly remember what it feels like to be bored or to play creatively. We are proud of all the things we, our kids, and our families are doing. However, it comes at a cost: less family time, at least quality time. And oftentimes, our personal faith, Bible time, church attendance (though sometimes church events can contribute to the crazy busyness too), and family time slide to the bottom of our to-do lists. Shoved off for another day, we procrastinate away the opportunities.
More and more churches are losing ministers and members. The reasons are varied. But often in our society, people view church or “Christianity” as just another thing they do, rather than who they are all the time. Ministers struggle to compete against their members; busy schedules and noisy lives. Sermons that tick past 30 minutes leave ripples of angst in a room of antsy members anxious to get on with their day.
Some busyness is a choice. And we should be more selective. But when life fills up and keeps us on our toes, we can still be intentional about turning to God and spending time individually and as a family seeking Him.
Praise Jesus, Pray, and Reflect During Your Commute
When you commute to and from work, you’re presented with an uninterrupted opportunity to commune with the Lord. This could be through listening to Christian audiobooks or podcasts on your way to work. Mitch loves to do this on his way to work, while mowing, and while walking our dog Hazel.
Even if it’s just a short walk that you take to get to your workplace, listening to a short podcast, audio Bible passage, or Christian music throughout the day can be an excellent way to populate your mind with thoughts of God’s word. All it takes is a smartphone and some audio files or eBooks in order to use your commute productively. I have several friends who love to listen to Christian music during their commute–singing aloud to worship Jesus in their car. One of my friends takes the time to pray over people she knows and then calls them via Bluetooth to check in.
Attend a Family Retreat
Getting away from your busy lifestyle to a youth retreat or family retreat center in a tranquil location can strip away a lot of the noise and demands of your life. It can help you connect spiritually and emotionally with your family through a unique bonding experience. You can do this through an organized trip with your church or on your own in the form of a family camp out. I love some of Sally Clarkson’s ideas on her blog and in her books.
Make It a Daily Rhythm
You have an opportunity every day to nurture faith in the home through the daily rhythms you set. Do you take time as a family to pray? Do you read the Bible together? If you have younger kids you can create a DIY Bible Box or a Toddler Bible Book Box. The more family traditions and activities you create around your faith, the more likely your children will grow in their individual faith as well.
The more time you make for yourself and your family, the more time you make for the Lord. Take some time to reflect. What are you modeling for your kids–do they see your relationship with God as a priority lived out in your daily life? Are there opportunities you are missing: time for discussion in the car with your kids or turning off the TV while you eat? Do you need to say “no” to more things so that you can say “yes” to God?