As I’ve been preparing for a mostly traditional Thanksgiving meal, I’m reminded how much planning and preparation goes into special celebrations we treasure. These are added onto regular, daily activities and responsibilities. So, managing everything during holiday seasons is critical. Additionally, focus on the many reasons to be “thankful while busy” keeps you centered.
Thankful While Busy
In a world where the pace continually increases (even with all the inventions, gadgets and gizmos, and time-conserving tools we have), time is still precious. There’s never enough. Everyone knows their time in life is limited.
Unfortunately, people seem to pack their time more and more. Consequently, this creates issues – particularly when adding planning and preparation for celebrations into already busy days.
The worst part? We get so engrossed in everything, we forget to be thankful while busy.
Inventions, Gadgets and Gizmos, and Time-Conserving Tools
Let’s talk about those amazing resources. If these are so helpful, why are they not making a greater difference? Why is the battle with time still a daily reality?
I’d like to suggest several reasons – and there are definitely more:
- These tools will not solve all time problems.
- People get caught up – even enamored – with many latest available resources.
- The practice of triaging (prioritizing) is rare.
- Tools will not solve gratitude problems.
- Focus on character helps you be thankful while busy.
- People have forgotten how to rest.
Never Have Enough Time
Let’s face it. You never have enough time, right? But everyone has 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Some have figured out how to invest their greatest resource – time!
Since time is a resource that disappears as it happens, it only makes sense to strategically invest in and maximize that “space” into something that will last.
It’s different than a garden. If you don’t sow seeds in soil this year, you can often sow them next year. But time that passes is gone forever. You can’t get it back next year. This makes time a resource more valuable than gold.
You Have Time To Be Thankful While Busy
No one knows how many years they will live. Some people are blessed with a full life. In this period of history, that’s around 80-90 years. You may know someone who made it to 100. Similarly, you may know someone whose life ended while they were young – perhaps even a child.
Time in life is limited. How you live each day matters. Since time is only maximized in the moment it occurs, blessed is the person who lives with that understanding. Further, since God values a thankful heart – and a person who practices gratitude is more balanced – healthier is the person who sincerely practices being thankful while busy.
How To Be Thankful While Busy
Being thankful is a command from God. The Creator has the original design blueprints. Thankfulness is a basic component of human design. Consequently, being grateful helps people live healthier lives. Since this is true, learn to be thankful while busy.
God has given you everything you need to live on a practical and spiritual level. 2 Pet. 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
The person who trust God for all their needs (physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, relational) is the recipient of the divine power this verse promises. Plus, they get to know the Lord better and live inside God’s glory and goodness.
So, being thankful while busy starts with an invitation. Have you accepted this invitation?
Thankful While Busy For Life Provisions
You know how busy life is – addressing basic provisions for daily living. Food, clothing, housing, bills, medical, etc. If you have kids, you know the added dimension of their needs. Education, support, training, opportunities, etc. God cares about all basic physical life needs. As you trust Him for these things (the faith thing), He provides.
Interestingly, God cares about other provisions, too. He made you a whole person.
- He arranged forgiveness and eternal life through Christ’s cross and empty tomb. You can focus here with gratitude even when busy.
- God set you up to succeed, when you follow His design, trust, and obey Him.
- Abundant blessings exist alongside troubles and trials. God enables you as you put Him first in your busy life.
- Blessings don’t just go away when you have losses. If you are alert, you see God’s blessings everywhere. Whether or not you recognize this is a matter of the character you choose – busy or not.
So, What To Do
First thing is to remember God is active in basic resources.
Second thing is to realize what flows from your character and free will. Did you know you have full control over the kind of person you become. It’s your privilege to decide what character you exercise daily. How you:
- Interact with others.
- Use your extra resources.
- Relate to and think about God.
- Apply your spare time – the resource that is completely GONE once you use it.
- Allow certain perspectives to linger in your private thoughts.
- Cultivate your attitudes.
- Manage your heart and where you let it go.
Thankful While Busy – Not A Feeling
Thankfulness is NOT a feeling. You may not feel emotions that resemble thankfulness. The good news – you don’t need feelings to be truly grateful. Thankfulness is a decision you make to be increasingly aware of God’s presence and your blessings even during great upheaval or disappointment.
Practicing thanks is more an intellectual exercise than an emotional one. And it is a spiritual discipline. However, the more you practice it, the more thankful you become. It changes you! As perspective shifts into gratitude, your heart comes alive.
What you practice is what you become! Why not become a person rich in gratitude?
Some bonuses from choosing to be rich in gratitude:
- Stay close to God’s heart.
- Hear God better.
- Sin less. It’s hard to sin when you are authentically grateful. Maybe that’s one reason God commands to be thankful and to rejoice. He wants to help you stay away from sin.
- Ensure your own character development and fitness for godly living.
- Become a joy and encouragement to others.
- Build companionship with other believers in Jesus who aim for these same high caliber character qualities.
- Finally, you become a model for others. Be humble when this happens. But recognize some need this. So, give it – freely, gently, humbly . . . like Jesus does for you.
I’m reminded of the story of Mary and Martha. It was so special to have Jesus and His disciples come for a meal. By this time, it’s likely both women had figured out who He is – at least somewhat.
Picture with me. Martha is flying around her kitchen. She is organized and prepared by getting her turkey several days before. She did preparations the night before – like the dressing, cranberry sauce, pickle tray, and maybe cooking sweet potatoes ahead of time. Oh yes – she likely baked delicious pies several days before.
BUT – she’s still flying around her kitchen.
On the other hand, Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, listening intently, fully engaged, straining to hear every word. Wondering how those teachings apply to her life, she is still thankful and eager.
I believe both women give something to consider. Too often Martha is rebuked. But let me say – someone needed to plan, prepare, and be sure the meal was ready for guests. Let’s not be too hard on Martha. Instead, let’s drill down into Jesus’ meaning.
Jesus wanted both sisters to know He is their best provision.
Perhaps Jesus was also saying – Martha should be thankful while busy. Maybe a simpler meal would suffice. How about not being grumpy? (Have you ever been grumpy?)
Although Scripture doesn’t say, I’ve often wondered if Mary should have pro-actively helped Martha. Then both could sit and interact with Jesus.
The Lord looks at the heart.
Lack Of Rest As A Lifestyle
Jesus offers rest. We should take it. But do we?
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt. 11:29)
How are you applying the idea of rest while you are thankful while busy? This may/may not mean a nap. It does mean the state of your heart.
Application Thoughts and Questions
- Are you rich in gratitude?
- Are you thankful while busy?
- How often are you too busy to stop and rest?
- If you can’t stop, do you trust Jesus and “rest in Him?”
- Do you pause to be refreshed through the spiritual discipline of thankfulness?
Have a wonderful celebration as you are thankful while busy!
Resources To Make Christmas Better:
Since Christmas is right around the corner. We have 2 resources that help you prepare both your heart and celebrations – while in the hustle and bustle! Order soon so you can use them!
Two Great Christmas Resources In Our Bookstore:
- Prepare For Christmas Without Missing It. (e-book) This tool gives practical action steps to make your preparations easier and meaningful.
2. Prepare your heart with meaningful, short snippets each December day. Celebrate Advent: A Life Response To Emmanuel. (paperback, e-book) This book is our most-loved and used. Why not find out why?
Visit our website for devotional materials, articles, podcasts, and resources to help grow your faith in God. Pursue noble character and an Alive and Active Life.