Do y’all remember that Ludacris song, Rollout? I hope not. But if you’re like me…and you do, I still play the line in my head that says, “Get up out my business, my business.” That’s about the only line in that song that resonates with my 35 year old, mom of four, business owning, entrepreneur chasing, butter slinging self. And by butter, I mean the real kind that you find in my potatoes. Not the on fiyah, hot, sik, radical urban dictionary definition of butta, like I know you were thinking.
Here lately there’s so much I need to just get up out my business, and I’m not talking about my 8 year old who tries to read my text messages. I’m talking about the things that suck my time, steal what truly matters, and leaves me looking like a squirrel trying to cross the road. The things that keep me so busy that at the end of the day, I missed the giggles of my 2 year old, the long hug from my man, and I can’t remember the conversations from my oldest (unless he’s talking about Minecraft, those convos are allowed to be dismissed).
Ludacris poses the question, “Where’d you get that platinum chain with them diamonds in it?” Oh Luda, that’s not my diamond chain, that’s my busyness. I like to wear it like it’s all platinum and sparkly. But the truth. Truth is…it weighs me down. I’m exhausted. I juggle so many things and wear so many hats, it counts as my arm workout. Someone tell me I’m not alone!
And Luda, did you mistake the bald tires covering my factory rims for “twenties”? Because I’m really rollin’ on gas fumes from where the gas light started dinging 15 miles back. I never stop. And when I do…my mind doesn’t. It’s constantly spinning.
“Who are those girls I be ridin’ wit when I’m ridin’ through?” Those are my homies. But is it okay to have unread text messages and phone calls I haven’t yet returned? Wouldn’t that make me a slacker? Because slacking ain’t my thang.
But maybe Luda did hit me in the heart when he said, “Man, I ain’t got nothin’ to prove.” So what’s all the hustle for? And how do I slow my 20″ rims down and catch my breath? I’ve played this game so long that externally you would never know I was frazzled on the inside. I even say these words, “I don’t feel like I’m stressed out.” But I got nailed in the face the other day when I was told, “It’s because you’ve lived like this so long, it’s your norm.” And if it’s my norm, then it’s my children’s norm, and that does frazzle me on the inside.
So, how do I change my normal to something new?
1. Say NO to some good things in order to say YES to the best. I don’t have a problem saying “NO” to something that is bad. “Linds., you want to go out and murder people who look at you wrong?” Ummmm, NO, what do you think this is, a bad rap song? But when you ask me to do something good, I have a hard time saying no. “Linds., can you volunteer at the homeless shelter, after you make a meal for the new mom, but before you go work a fundraiser for an adoption, and have your small group over for supper that night?” YES! YES! YES! YES! I mean, who doesn’t want to do these things, they are all wonderful things! But I have to draw some boundary lines in order to give my best when I say yes. And this means saying NO to some good things. In Luke 10, that’s exactly what my girl, Mary, did. Martha was in a wad because here she was doing it all. House cleaned √, lamb in the oven √, olive oil placed proportionate to the bunches of grapes √√. Martha had it going on…so it seemed.
Martha was worried about all that had to be done. Finally, she went to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!” The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:40-42
Mary said NO to some good things in order to choose what was best.
2. Be present. Like when you were in class and they called your name…”Brandon- ‘here’, Amanda-‘here’, Lindsey…Lindsey”. Then the snooty teacher-suck-up yells, “She’s here, she’s just not listening.” Welcome to my life. My brain spends so much time in future mode that I miss what’s going on around me. The moments I should be soaking in are gone before I can even tap my brakes. Which brings me back to point #1, the reason I need to say NO to some things is because when my plate is so full, I spend those moments thinking about what’s next on my list. I don’t get to take in the heart break and beauty of adoption at the fundraiser because I’m already planning the get together at my house later. I’m not present. And when I’m not present, I’m not at my best. Just ask my kids. They would tell you how it deflates them when I’m a million miles away but standing right in front of them, and they would tell you how it fills them up when I’m in a moment with them.
Or we could ask Zacchaeus how glad he was that Jesus was present that day, that He didn’t hurry through Jericho, and He took the time to look up in that tree. Jairus would tell you the same, how thankful he was that Jesus didn’t just trip over him and go along on His way. His daughter would echo him. And the woman who grabbed Jesus’ hem as He made His way to Jairus’ house, you better believe she was thankful He was present. He took the time to stop in a congested crowd and look around for her. She walked away hidden no more, because He was present. Unlike me, when they spoke His name, He said, “Here.” Not already thinking about the next town, the next healing, the next gathering. He was there, in the moment.
3. Embrace the wilderness. Because without this one, there is no #1 or #2. This is the glue. Luke tells us that word spread like fire about Jesus’ power. People came to be healed and vast crowds wanted to hear Him preach, “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer”. Talk about busy. BUT. Don’t skim over that word. He was busy BUT he withdrew for prayer. He was present throughout His day BUT he would slip away where He could be alone and pray. When? Often.
When you go to the wilderness, you go to a desolate place. How often do we avoid the wilderness? The deserted. The empty. In the wilderness there are no facebook notifications, no text messages dinging, no work deadlines, no to do list. Our wilderness must be shut off from those things that so easily distract us, so that we can be present in His presence. Too often we see the wilderness as a place to avoid, but it’s the place where He lifts our weary heads, quenches our thirsty souls, and cares for us as the apple of His eye (Deut. 32:10). It’s where the weight of busy gets lifted from our necks and our gas tanks get filled back up. That’s the only way we can be in those moments throughout our day. It’s the only way we know how to choose what is best. It’s where busyness has no voice. It’s the quiet, desolate place…the one we must embrace.
So, how do I tell my busyness to stay up out my business? Say NO to some good things in order to say YES to the best, be present in the moment at hand, and embrace the wilderness…often. That’s where it’s all held together, in His presence. It’s time, Busyness. Time for you to Rollout!