Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

IMG_8626-001God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Psalm 46 (1-3)

It’s another ordinary day at Maul Hall. It begins in the kitchen, with coffee and a devotional time, together in God’s good word.

Of course there’s a lot going on, there always is. We’re part of a vibrant faith community; Rebekah’s responsibilities as pastor are legion; I always have writing work that needs to be done; maintaining a home takes a great deal of attention; there are many other demands on my time.

Invariably, we tend to wake up with a sense of anticipation and excitement about the coming day. Not because the hours ahead are guaranteed to be easy, or smooth sailing, but because life is good.

IMG_8632BALANCE: For me one of the most fundamental principles of effectiveness is maintaining a sense of balance. That’s why I included this photograph, taken yesterday in the middle of the afternoon (I’m making tea; Rebekah is in the garden taking a deep breath; Scout is on the deck waiting for potential crumbs), when the last thing either of our schedules recommended was a 30-minute break and a pot of tea out on the deck.

But nothing in the long list of important things we’re involved with will work, or be the least bit effective, if we don’t maintain the kind of balance we were designed for.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. – Psalm 46:5-7

We don’t do things like this – and this is critically important to understand – because we have all the time in the world to play with; we do them because we don’t.

IMG_8591PRODUCTIVITY: Now we don’t do this (dog picture, left)! But, seriously, both Rebekah and I have learned that balance actually makes us more productive.

Here’s an example. Once in a while – mostly due to the fact that I’m a slow learner – I will skip my morning devotional time “because I’m too busy.” So I’ll jump directly into work which “can’t wait.”

Always, without exception, I will have accomplished less productive work by lunchtime than I would had I set aside the first 15-20 minutes for deliberate, intentional time with God.

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:8-10

Balance, then, isn’t the result of having a loose schedule and few demands on our time. The discipline of balance actually increases productivity, multiplies effectiveness, and facilitates the quality of quiet, centered, connected-to-God self that is better equipped to deal with demands, distractions, and overwhelming circumstances when they do occur.

The critical question in terms of productivity is not “how busy can I be?” but “how connected am I to the fountainhead of knowledge, peace, creativity, and purpose?”

DSC_1145And the answer, my friends, is always going to be, “Jesus.”

Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. – Psalm 46:10-11

– DEREK

PS – Here are four bullets you might want to take from today’s post:

  • Nothing in the long list of important things we’re involved with will work, or be the least bit effective, if we don’t maintain the kind of balance we were designed for.
  • But – and this is critically important to understand – we don’t do things like this because we have all the time in the world to play with; we do them because we don’t.
  • The discipline of balance actually increases productivity, multiplies effectiveness, and facilitates the quality of quiet, centered, connected-to-God self that is better equipped to deal with demands, distractions, and overwhelming circumstances when they do occur.
  • The critical question in terms of productivity is not “how busy can I be?” but “how connected am I to the fountainhead of knowledge, peace, creativity, and purpose?”
making afternoon tea... Rebekah in the garden... Scout waiting on the deck

making afternoon tea… Rebekah in the garden… Scout waiting on the deck

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “don’t waste time being busy: “there is a river…”#Psalm46

  1. Sean Mungin says:

    I’m learning how to do this. I needed the reminder because it’s so easy to fall back into old habits. Thanks for sharing this!

    Like

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