Have you ever had an epiphany (otherwise, known in colloquial terms as a “light bulb moment”)? I love how God often uses items, circumstances or other people in tangible ways to “wake us up” and get us to pay attention, or to clarify something in a (BOOM!) kind of way.
I had a recent experience like this while sitting in a pew at church, listening to our pastor’s homily. He was talking about many issues, but the gist of the topic had to do with marriage and family life.
More specifically, he was talking about the decline in quality of marriage and family life in this nation. He said (and I agree) that being overly busy is a major culprit to the breakdowns of many families. However, what came next in his sermon is what hit me right between the eyes – but, it took a moment because I’m kind of a slow learner like that.
He mentioned/cautioned/warned that we might be breaking God’s commandment not to steal if we are too busy. If your reaction to that line was something akin to: Wait. What? So was mine—at first; that is, until he expounded his thoughts.
Never before had I considered that my own busy-ness might be causing me to steal precious things from those I love. I’ll post the same list of questions the pastor posed that day, and you can decide if it hits you the same way it did me:
1) Are you spending too much time on Facebook or other social networks? You might be stealing social time that you should be giving to your spouse and/or children.
2) Are you saying you don’t have enough time to pray but are always spending every free moment checking email and Instagram, or answering text messages? You might be stealing time from God.
3) Are you involved in so many outside activities, meetings and other assorted commitments that you lament your lack of time to exercise? You might be stealing from your own physical health and well-being.
The list goes on, and you can probably infer many other examples. If life has become so busy, and we, so distracted from loved ones, God, or even ourselves that we feel unhealthy, stressed or overwhelmed, then we might be stealing from the time, attention, love, devotion and efforts we should be giving to those who matter most.
The good thing is that each of us has the ability to change. Although, one can’t always return something after it’s been stolen (if it no longer exists, like “time”), we can determine not to steal the next time we are tempted to do so. We can choose praying over texting, sitting and chatting with a spouse, over scrolling on Facebook, or taking a walk with our children over working every volunteer fundraiser that comes our way.
With a little focus and determination, we can begin to give more than we take. What does “Thou Shalt Not Steal” have to do with a busy life?
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.