It’s that time of year again, and I can already feel the weight of the season slowly creeping in. No matter how many nights I’m snuggled in on the couch relaxing while watching Hallmark Christmas movies (Yes, they have already started!), it cannot be avoided. We are on the brink of the busiest time of year. There’s no stopping it.
But there is something I can do, and it begins with the first two letters of this month. I’ve decided to say “No” in November, to clear space in my calendar for more focused prayer and some downtime – simply put, time to do nothing but rest and just be. The only problem is that I’m not good at doing nothing. My calendar is jam-packed with no margins or free space. I have become a slave to deadlines and projects that continually stack up, where my “To Do” is impossible to complete. My life feels overwhelming and over-scheduled. I need to make a change.
As I read his book, Do Nothing to Change Your Life, author Stephen Cottrell’s words jumped off the page: “I am much too busy, and I have allowed busyness to invade my life so much that it gets harder and harder to be in touch with that other part of me which thrives on the creativity of indolent wastefulness.” As I read his words, they pierced my heart, hitting way too close to home. But I found encouragement as I continued reading: “But when I do get back in touch, wonderful things happen. Not only do I become more of myself – and that is joy enough – but from myself there comes fruitfulness.”
Like Cottrell, I, too, am much too busy, so saying “No” is a logical place to start. While this may seem like a simple task, it’s easier said than done because most of the opportunities that come my way are “good things” that help hurting people, support worthy causes, or make the world a better place. But I’ve learned the hard way that just because something is “good” doesn’t mean it’s from God. Actually, one of the enemy’s most crafty tactics is busyness. I’ve heard it said, “If Satan doesn’t derail you, he will keep you busy – even with something that appears really good.”
So, this month I’m saying “No” in order to open up space to say “Yes” to what God wants me to focus on, starting with more time in his presence. It’s a perfect way not only to find a better balance in my daily life but to prepare for this holy season ahead of us.
What will you say “No” to in November?
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 ESV