Monday, May 25, 2009

The busy/idle seesaw

I was crying out to God about getting everything done, when the thought came to me: "This is a blessing."

Indeed, when I recalled my worries about idle thoughts, loneliness, and just laziness, it was an answer to prayer to have so many opportunities surface. It did not leave me a spare moment to think about all the questions I will have to figure out eventually.

I think it is part of God's mercy when He "distracts" us sometimes, even if it is through the development of new problems and cares.

As I've mentioned before, I don't think the mere act of keeping busy is necessarily an effective tactic for righteous living. Sometimes there really are issues that we have to wrestle with before we can move on. Sometimes we really do need to observe a time of stillness, so that we can learn patience. And I don't think that agreeing to every opportunity that comes along is good stewardship of our time and gifts. But as John Piper mentioned in his sermon for singles, pouring oneself out really does help one become less introspective. Our problems don't seem so severe when ministering to someone else.


  1. I have been struggling with some of the same things (laziness and idle thoughts) latly. I have been reading this great book that has helped me, it's called 'Loving God with all your Mind' by Elizabeth George. God has also brought things into my life to keep me busy. He is a good God isn't He?

  2. Thanks, Sarah. I might check that book out when I'm in the States. Yes, God is good!

  3. I'd like the chance to be a little MORE introspective.

  4. Singleness is much better in many respects (I am writing this is a single guy in my early 40's so I, guess, can be biased. I would have probably written something else if I got married in my twenties, as most people seem to be doing.)

    Why is singleness better? Well, Ap. Paul says it is. There are tons of benefits to a married life, but there are just as many negative aspects to it. I can't imagine anyone now running my life. And do not tell me that husbands and wives are not running each others lives. Well, let me paraphrase it. If I ever meet a woman whom I enjoy enough and she enjoys me enough to stay together, it will be a relationship consisting of friendship, first of all. It will be a relationship of a companionship - a companionship that has some kind of a goal in mind - a goal bigger than ourselves. Not all the time, of course. That is simply impossible. Life is life. It consists of everyday stuff, but life is more exciting when it has some noble challenges and goals. C.S. Lewis had that kind of relationship.

    Singleness is better (at least for us, guys) because we are free to move around. Being mobile is important, in most cases, for Christian ministers, evangelists.

    To tell you the truth, most familiar to us Christian ministers who made a change in the lives of others had some major family problems, simply because they didn't have time for their own husbands, wives and kids. It's still true today.

    So, I would suggest this to singles who really want to serve Jesus. If you want to be effective for the Gospel - do not get married. If you really want to get married - get married, but be prepared to be less effective in your ministry. There's no way around it. Of course, again, I will bring in a lot of fire from someone reading this post. If I do, tell me, where am I wrong?

  5. Those are logical conclusions. I think I would change the last portion about being "less effective." Your role in a particular ministry will change or even be eliminated, but let's not get it confused with spiritual backsliding. For example, a woman who leaves the worship team to have a baby is not "less effective" for the Kingdom. She is simply moving on to a different ministry.

    Otherwise, good thoughts.

  6. On April 12 the Young Ladies Christian Fellowship permanently removed me from any participation on the site. Since they have chosen to publicly state no further ties or affiliations with me, I decided to also make a public statement.

    For my full statement please visit this page on my website:

    Please pass this statement on to anyone you know who has been a YLCF reader. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

  7. Natalie, I sympathize with you. I, at one time, was part of a group of as I thought were nice Christians. But when I decided to be more independent and moved away from them they thought I rejected them and what they stood for.

    The thing is, I didn't reject them, they, at the end, rejected me. I still do not understand why they are overreacting, and when I ask them to explain it to me, they act like little kids. Literally.

    I would just suggest to you to move on. God is not mad at you. Those people have never been your friends, as you thought they were. True friends stick with you for better or for worse (like in marriage). They are there for you when they can't understand you and indeed, you may make no sense and yet they are still there for you.

    Manipulators, on the other hand, will use you and spiritually abuse you, but when you decide to go your own way, they will chew you and spit you out like you are nothing.

    Has happened to a lot of good people! Just move on. Do not seek to justify yourself in their eyes. They do not care, trust me. You are who you are. Live your own life and do not allow anyone to manipulate you anymore. That's called freedom.

  8. It seems that we have hit on a sensitive topic! None of us knows all the details of Natalie's situation (nor yours, Vitali). Sometimes continuing in a friendship is an option, sometimes not. Some discipline is loving, other discipline is not. Whether or not we "move on," I believe that God's ultimate desire for us is to experience forgiveness and healing. It doesn't mean the relationship is restored to what it was, but it means that we no longer have to live with the pain of the past.

  9. Я же говорил, что тема одиночества очень острая и не осмысленная до конца :)

  10. Я не пыталась до конца, я только чуть-чуть. :)


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