“Busy” doesn’t mean “productive.” So how can we stop the whirlwind of busyness leaving us feeling like we’ve blown through another year with nothing to show for it? In our haste to get more, see more, be more and do more are we becoming the walking dead? Are we at risk of seeing life as depressed and irrelevant? 

Each day becomes a blur as we try to pack more into our already over-scheduled calendar. We wake up each morning tired and worn out and the day hasn’t even begun. It reminds me of the classic repeating scenes in the movie All That Jazz  based on the career of Bob Fosse. The frazzled choreographer/director looks in the mirror each morning and says, “It’s show time” and turns on his smile in a mirror that reflects a completely exhausted and depressed man. 

Some of us are dealing with this kind of a blur of a life as it dashes past us and as we try to keep our marriage, kids, and a career in control. Some may be wondering if they’ll even have a job next month and praying that the bills can be paid this month. Sadly, there are too many people running on empty, looking for a way out and reaching for their pocket crack, better known as a digital device to find answers and hope. 

When Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt it took convincing. We read in the Bible about the plagues God sent to convince the Pharaoh, but have you ever thought how much convincing Moses needed to do to get the Jews to pack up and leave? Just how fed up were they? Were the plagues also used to get their attention? Are our present-day weather disasters, wars, terrorism, immigration issues and political turmoil getting our attention? What’s our reaction when the sludge of life hits us between the eyes? Are we ready to get off the modern day treadmill and trust the ever present and still living God? 

Once the Jews were freed from Egypt’s control, it took 40 years of wandering to root out their past habits and build up their trust in the one true God. God had to continually prove Himself to them, but I don’t think He ever considered those years wasted. I think He considered them necessary. Unfortunately still today, we don’t always jump out of life’s tornados all at once. Most of the time we get sucked into them.  We feel the breeze first and then perhaps see some early signs that we often ignore because well… we’re too busy. Then suddenly we’re sucked into the vortex and find we can’t get out of the pounding wind and rain and wonder how we got there.

Have you been there? Has your busyness and media distractions finally caught you in a whirlwind feeling depressed and wasted? Want to get out? God has promised in His Word that when you’re ready He’s always there with “the peace that passes all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7.) But, we have to choose to purposefully choose to engage. God is in the silence of our souls and waiting for us to take a breather. Are you courageous enough to do it?

Here’s some suggestion of where you can start:

Look at the smartphone and get smart. Schedule your own personal time with Jesus at least four or more times a week, and make it your number one priority. Research has proven that it will positively change your life. One to three times a week won’t cut it. My devotional, Hope 4 Today: Stay Connected to God in a Distracted Culture can help you get started. You can get a two-week sample by texting 4Today to the number 77292 or go to my website at KathleenCooke.com.

Get serious about how you spend your free time. 

Be mindful of how much time you’re spending in the black holes of apps, games, and social media platforms. Change your primary screen with only apps that are truly helping you navigate your day and schedule. You might even have to get radical and delete some of them. Smartphones even have a feature so you monitor how much time you’re spending on all your apps and black holes and make needed changes.

Focus on caring for others and not just collecting friends. 

Freeing your eyes from being face planted into a digital device allows you more time to see those around you. Open your eyes to the people around you and build real relationships and not just the ones on social media platforms. I remember a time when you stopped by someone’s house unannounced just to be a friend. You might even get to know your husband, kids and family in new ways as you take the time to listen to them and are fully present when you’re with them. Try volunteering for something you feel passionate about as a family activity. You’d be surprised how meaningful it can be to everyone and can often bring the rich reward of personal growth and change.  

Finally, reach out and share your story and the message of Jesus. 

Others are hurting and suffering and are caught up in that busy tornado and need help to get out. They’re looking for answers and solutions as they too search for happiness that the world promises but haven’t realized that it’s the joy of knowing Jesus that their soul longs for in life. Sometimes it only takes our willingness to stop and care that can get their attention in a world of selfies and #AllAboutMe.

It is “show time.” It’s time to show the world that God is with them in the midst of the chaos we live in today. God said that He restores that which has been taken, even what the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:23.)  Nothing is wasted when you choose to live a life centered in Him.