By Randall Vaughn
"After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone"" (Matt. 14:23 NIV)
Busy people intimately know the feeling of having too much to do and too little time in which to do it. They understand the feeling that comes with knowing that at any time they are doing one "absolutely essential necessary for survival" thing, there are thirteen more "absolutely essential necessary for survival" things that are not being done, and they are all equally important.
They also know the odd (and often uncomfortable) feeling that comes from realizing that they are sitting down for a few minutes, doing nothing. And they know the very real feelings of guilt that can come from taking those few minutes to rest.
If this describes you, then you know the feeling -- the one that nags in the back of your thoughts, saying, "Shouldn't you be doing "this" or "that"? It is not a good feeling.
If you are that person, you also know the difficulty of "hearing God" in such a life situation.
Just as in human relationships, God does not (usually) speak intimate things to a person when others are around, or when they are busy with other things, or when their attention is turned elsewhere.
More often than not, He speaks in the times when all else has become still and your mind can turn to him exclusively. Those moments are private, intended just for the two of you. How seldom we give Him that opportunity to speak.
As important as the "busy things" may be, as "absolutely essential" and "necessary for survival" as they may be, as busy people, we often overlook the most important "absolutely essential necessary for survival" thing, which is our relationship with God.
Every busy Believer recognizes in their "heart of hearts" that this is a problem. They live with it every day. They often feel guilty about it. But they go on, and today becomes just like yesterday, and nothing changes. So, what is the solution?
God can use unusual things to get our attention or convey a message when we are "busy" and unable to "hear" otherwise. In one such case with me, He used a children's story, "Alice in Wonderland".
In one scene, Alice comes upon a very unusual party. The Mad Hatter and the March Hare are having an "unbirthday" party. They explained to Alice that every day that was not her birthday was her "unbirthday".
Recently, this scene came to mind, seemingly from "out of nowhere", and I immediately heard down deep inside my spirit, "Why don't you schedule some "unbusy" time with Me? I miss the time we used to spend together."
I realized that I had missed it too. God had missed time with me, and I had missed time with Him. He had been waiting all along. I had just been too "busy" for Him.
Now, there are times when I schedule "unbusy" time. It is a calendar item just like any other meeting, call, or task. It is time just for the two of us -- time to talk and time to listen. Sometimes it is a walk in the woods with Him. Sometimes it is sitting to watch a sunset together. Sometimes it is just a few minutes to get away from the phones, the computers, and other people. But in every case, it is time set aside for God. Just the two of us.
Jesus scheduled "unbusy" time. One such time is recorded in Matt. 14:22-23: