Repentance for the Overextended
Ecclesiastes 2:23 Even in the night his heart does not rest.
Our lives are frantic with activity. Part of this stems from the demands of a highly competitive marketplace. If we don't put in the time, then there's a line of people waiting to take our spot. Part of this stems from technology. We can be reached anytime and anywhere. E-mail enables us (and often requires us) to work when we're not in the office.
Yet, if we're honest, there's something deeper at play. A busy schedule is a mark of being important; it is way to say to ourselves and to others "I'm significant."
Jacqueline Olds, in her book The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-first Century writes, "Talk to Americans about their lives and one thing you will hear over and over again is how busy most people feel. People complain about being too busy, but if you listen closely, you will hear that people are proud of their busyness. It serves as a badge of toughness, success, and importance." (page 14)
Tim Keller, in his small group guide on Romans writes, "An inordinate need for people’s approval continually leads to over-commitments and over-estimations of what we can accomplish in a given amount of time." (page 148)
Do you continually over-commit and over-schedule? Are people around you annoyed with you because you can't fulfill the promises you've made? Do you continually over-estimate your strength to accomplish as much as possible?
You're living in unbelief and idolatry. You're seeking to derive from your busy schedule what you can only find in Jesus Christ, namely, that your important because you're a beloved child of the King. You are approved by the only One who's opinion counts not because of your productivity and success, but because you're clothed in Jesus' perfect righteousness.
Our culture won't prescribe repentance and faith for a life of over-scheduling and exhaustion, but that's precisely what's needed. Try this, "Heavenly Father, forgive me for finding my worth in my busy schedule. Thank you that Jesus suffered and died for my unbelief and idolatry. Thank you that He rose from the dead to eternal rest for me."