Do you ever feel like your home is chaos personified? Are you overwhelmed with the busyness of life, disciplining your children,making time for everyone, finding balance with everything you have on your plate? Ever feel like you are the only one who feels this way? Do you compare your family to other families and think the grass is greener on their side?
I’ve felt like this many times in my 21 years as wife and 18 years as a mommy. No matter who you are, no matter your circumstances, we all believe that life is chaotic.
I’ve got a rather controversial idea: What if we had a choice in the busyness of our lives? What if I said that we’ve put this pandemonium all on ourselves. We’ve turned our world into the opposite direction that God intended for it to go. Technology has spoiled us. We are a “fast food” society. We have no patience and want everything yesterday. Not only do we want everything at the speed of light, we also want it our way. People these days need constant entertainment, social activities every day of the week, and we stay on the move. We spend days and nights wringing our hands over the lifestyle we live, all the while training our children to live the same way. We teach them that they have to be involved in every social activity, sport, club offered, they’ll have to work long hours so they can buy the latest and greatest gadget, because we have to keep up with the Joneses. We teach them that manners are obsolete in this day in time. The best way to get ahead is to sponge off of others. Even then we are still striving to meet a social norm that we should never be following.
Here’s a newsflash for all of us. Life the way God intended is not hectic. The very chaos we detest is the very dilemma we put on ourselves. The things that cause us to be overwhelmed in this life are the very things that we worship in this life. Now I know there are some consequences of the choices of others that turn our lives upside down. I’m not talking about those. Those are exceptions. However, for the most part the choices we make cause the turbulence in our lives.
In an effort to encourage us all, I thought I’d start a series on reducing chaos in our homes. Today we’ll discuss the very first step.
Step 1: in reducing the chaos in our lives and homes is to grab a pencil and paper. Don’t grab your electronic device. Go “old school” and find a piece of old fashioned paper and a pencil. I know it’s not what some of us are used to, but we need to get back to basics. Now, write down the following:
Now, begin to prioritize your focus and decisions in this order, putting your relationship with God first. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He should be the beginning and the end for you. Evaluate your relationship with God. Have you accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior? When was the last time you prayed ? Did you use Him as your personal genie or did you enter His gates with thanksgiving? Are you too casual in your relationship with Him? When was the last time you accepted His never-ending invitation to visit Him in His house to hear His message and to worship Him with the body of believers? When was the last time you picked up His Word? Do you pick and choose what you like or do you take it all as the ultimate authority that it is? Have other things become your God? You’ll know by simply evaluating your time. Keep track of your time with God this week. Does He get your leftovers? Do these things get the bulk of your time: family, friends, television, sports, fitness, food, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, volunteering, texting, internet, work, shopping, books, crafting, hobbies?
He tells us in His Word in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” We are not seeking God first when we allow other things to get the bulk of our time and energy. He is the giver of peace. He loves us and wants us to turn to Him first before any of these other things. Do you know anyone who is truly happy when they seek peace through these other things? Why do we not expect our lives to be filled with chaos when we push Him aside? We are inviting the chaos in and shutting Him out.
Getting your priorities straight is the first step to reducing chaos in our lives, and our relationship with God should be our first priority. So, sit down with your paper and pencil. Think about all of the activities you participate in each day. Write down how much time you spend on each. Now think about how you are going to shorten your workout, turn the television off earlier, plan fewer social activities. Now take that time and put it by God’s name on your list. Commit to spending more time in prayer with Him and studying His Word. I think you’ll be surprised at how much peace you have.