What an insane month and a half.
At the end of July, I had the blessing of working three consecutive Steubenville Youth Conferences as the admissions counselor, but only two were actually planned. Due to last-minute changes, I booked flights for Spokane, WA the week before Steubenville Northwest began. That same week I started writing for Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship, splitting a month’s worth of posts with another writer for the launch of our site on August 2. A good friend of mine and my husband’s also visited in August, as well as my parents and some Franciscan University students returning for the fall. Since I work in Admissions for the university, we’ve also been busy getting the new incoming class ready for the year (while starting to plan for Fall 2015 students on the side), so Orientation brought its own level of activity.
Needless to say, it’s been very busy lately. I’ve started two more MBA classes this fall, my husband has begun his MA Theology classes full-time, and we’re excited that we somehow get to share at least one meal together every day!
But I know you can relate . . .
Because no matter what it is we’re involved in or what we do for a living, we all know what it feels like to wake up and realize how utterly busy we’ve become.
Don’t get me wrong – I love each and every thing I’m doing. In fact, I’m very confident that I’m supposed to be doing all of them. I love the company we’ve shared this month, and the blessings they brought us are abundant. However, I’ve noticed that the difference between just doing a list of good things and truly coming alive through that work is dependent on where my focus lies.
To put it bluntly, am I focused on Jesus or myself?
Yes, I need to take care of myself – I need to make sure I get enough sleep, eat right, stay healthy, etc. or I run the risk of getting sick and inhibiting my ability to be a wife and succeed in my job. But does Jesus have my first focus, my primary one?
Too many people assume that living a true Christian life means literally giving up everything. After all, Jesus told us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow him. People left their entire livelihoods to follow this man! But what some people fail to grasp is that not all of us are called to live secluded lives without everything we hold dear – that is a life reserved for those whose vocation calls them to it.
On the other hand, all of us are called to give up our attachment to everything else, to place Jesus first before any other things or people.
This is something I’m really taking a hard look at right now in my life because it’s essential when I start to get busy. How much priority am I giving my relationship Jesus over my other responsibilities? If I just stopped talking to my husband because I had things to do, not only would my relationship with him suffer, I wouldn’t be fulfilling my role as his wife, I wouldn’t be truly loving him, and I would damage something that is inherently more important than other things.
Yet we do this to Jesus all the time! He literally sustains our every breath – without which we would cease to exist, thousands of times every day – and we give him a half-hearted piece of our attention on Sundays.
Living in a world of busy isn’t bad simply because it’s busy. It can be detrimental because it’s so easy to lose sight of where our primary focus should be pointed – up. By looking up first, then we can look down on our busy lives and order them appropriately. But if we never take our eyes off what’s around us, we’ll never get the bird’s eye view.
(photo cred: Brasil2 via Getty Images)