Don’t you just love it when you call someone and you get a busy signal or an answering machine?  Of course, I realize sometimes people are occupied doing something or are already on the phone talking to someone else when I call them.  And sometimes when others call me I am likewise busy.  It’s hard to get anyone’s undivided attention these days with so many things competing for our time. That’s just life.  Or is it?
When you’re talking to someone, do you have ALL their attention?  The other day I was talking with a friend, or I should I say AT my friend, for after asking a question, I could tell their mind was somewhere else.  It must have been the “out to lunch” look on their face that tipped me off.  Then their phone rang so they answered it.  And at the same time they were texting someone else while I sat there on “hold” for quite a while. That gave me time to consider whether I was doing the same thing to others, because I found it frustrating to have it happening to me.  And then the Holy Spirit nudged me, Do I have YOUR undivided attention when I talk to you?
Have you ever noticed when you ask someone how things are going, they usually reply BUSY.  Nowadays, “busy” is a way of life, and there’s little time for relaxation.  You would think with all these “time saving” devices we have, such as phones, email, instant messaging, microwave ovens, and fast food, instant coffee, that we would have nothing but free time on our hands, wouldn’t you?  We no longer have to write a letter to someone on the other side of the country and wait for pony express to get you a reply back in a month, or take a horse and wagon to visit someone, or spend all day cooking a meal.  We no longer have to hand wash clothes, and wring them out and hang them out on a line to dry, or take our carpets outside and beat the dirt out of them and put them back down.  We don’t have to cut wood to put in a cook stove, build a fire and cook a meal, or cut wood and stack it to heat our homes, or heat hot water for a bath on the stove.
That’s progress, because I’ve done all that in my younger days, and it takes lots of time. Yet, I remember working sixteen hours a day and STILL having free time to do other stuff.  But where’s all that spare time today?  It’s used up doing unnecessary stuff like surfing the internet, watching TV, and things like that.  Gone are the days of doing craft work like making stuff for your home or for gifts for others. For example, guys no longer have time to work on “hot rods” like they did in my day.  People used to actually INTERACT with others over a meal at home.  Of course, most of you young folk have never had that, so you don’t know what I’m talking about. Yes, times have certainly changed, but a couple of things have never changed.  There are still 24 hours in every day.  It’s how we use them that have changed, which brings me to my point today.
Oh, and I almost forgot, God never changes.  I was so busy there I almost left God out.  In fact, really, that’s the WHOLE problem; we get so busy that God gets left out.  Yet, when the bottom falls out of our little bucket, then we remember to call on Him.  When was the last time you called upon God that you got a busy signal or a message, “This is God. I’m busy, leave a message at the beep and I’ll get back to you when I get time.  I have everyone pulling my chain, you know.” And of course, when it goes “beep”, you start talking, and in three seconds it goes “beep” again and hangs up.  God must be REALLY busy.  Like you and me.  Maybe we need to step off the merry-go-round and chill?  Life should not be a continual busy signal.  Even God rested on the seventh day. Do you?   What?? Are you crazy?  I’M TOO BUSY!
We are told we can call on God 24/7 that He is a full-time God, and that when we pray, He always listens.  Wow!  But what about when He talks to US, does He get a busy signal?  Are we too busy doing other stuff to step aside and spend quality time with Him?  Much of our frustration in life is brought about by “BUSY”.  There’s nothing wrong with making a living and taking care of our family, we’re supposed to do all that.  But where is God in all that?  If He isn’t the centerpiece of our life, the rest of life never seems to fit together right, and we’re spending way too much time trying to fix what God intended to be easy and natural for us, even joyful. Joy.  Now that’s a rare commodity these days.  And it’s all because it has been replaced with “stress” and “busy”.  Have you ever heard anyone say they are “joyfully stressed out”?  No?  That’s because they are opposite one another.  We can have one or the other, but not both at the same time.
You’ve tried “stressed out”.  You’ve tried “busy”.  Have you tried “joyful”?  If you have experienced all three, then it would be safe to say you would like “joyful” best.  But my guess is, you haven’t had time to be “joyful” because you’ve been too “busy”.  Do yourself a favor, put “busy” on “hold”.  Tell “stress” to not to bother leaving a message.  I know you have things to do, and some of them are necessary things.  But right now, step off the merry-go-round and go make yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever refreshment you like, and sit down in your favorite chair and dust off that book that says “HOLY BIBLE” and read and soak in God’s love for one whole, UNINTERRUPTED  hour .  For most of you that will be the hardest thing in the world to do, but you MUST, if you’re going to get your life from where you are, to “joyful”.  Some people say, start off with five minutes, but not me.  No, I think that’s a cop-out.  If you really want to get the stress out of your life, then you’re going to have to take some serious action and quit making excuses.  Isn’t God worth an hour of your time each day?  If not, then stop complaining and enjoy being miserable, sick, broke and stressed out.
Believe it or not, the world won’t stop turning or fall apart without your attention.  Forget “busy” for a while and seek God.  He would like your undivided attention for a while, ok?  Unless He has been asking you for help how to run the universe each morning, then I can safely say He can take care of the universe, AND YOUR PROBLEMS. There used to be a saying the Greyhound Bus Company used in their ads, “Get on the bus, and leave the driving to us”.  God can handle your problems, and He doesn’t need your help to do it, either.  Talk to Him, then just LISTEN TO HIM. Yes, God will speak to anyone who isn’t too busy to listen to Him.  You may as well be one of them.   Do it the old-fashioned way: one-on-one, nobody else in the whole world, just you and God. Make time for Him, because He made time for YOU.  You’ll soon learn the meaning of “joyful”, that is, if you don’t give God the busy signal.