In this month’s blog, I am not going to quote authors, bible verses, theological concepts or give you a checklist or a recommended self-assessment test. I’m simply going to try to pass on some brief, pastoral wisdom on this topic in four short points.

Check your assumptions. As Christians, we welcome the influence the Bible has on our lives. On the other hand, how aware are we of how much influence the surrounding culture has on our lives? As Christians we need to think critically about this and how it affects our busyness. Example: Culture tells us that we should have our kids involved in ongoing extracurricular activities if we want our kids to develop good self-esteem. This is simply not absolutely true for either a Christian family or a non-Christian one, nor does the Bible teach such a thing. There are other, more effective means to help our kids develop self-esteem – like spending regular time together as a family.

Listen to your conscience. God designed the conscience not just to tell us right from wrong but what we should or shouldn’t do in our priorities and choices. Christians, due to the Word and the Holy Spirit, should have a well-developed conscience. We should listen to it, even if it makes us look different from the norms in our society. Example: Lately you have been repetitively feeling like your family needs to take a break and just have a simple, “do nothing” family day. Have you done something about this? Have courage to act on what your conscience is telling you. Making decisions that run against the grain of the norms of culture wreak havoc on us through second guessing ourselves and struggles with feeling ok with our “differentness”. It is right and good to have the courage to listen to our consciences as Christians.

Example: A mom has a conversation with four other moms. Four of the five moms are in a tizzy about how they are having to be all over the place, every day with their kids. The fifth mom is not all over the place with her kids. I hope she is proud of her courage to be different.

Have planning conversations. Finally, as communication is key to a good marriage, communication is key to reducing the crazy busy in your life. In order to reduce the crazy busy in your life, you must put “planning conversations” down on your calendar before the crazy takes charge. You control the crazy through planning not the other way around. Example: My wife and I have three kids. Every July my wife and sit down and talk about the new school year. We write down required things and extra-curricular things for each kid. Then, we talk about how are we going to balance all of this out or if we need to adjust things so that we will not end of being crazy busy, but so that the kids will not lose out either. Church on Sunday morning is non-negotiable.

So, in summary: Check your assumptions. List to your conscience. Have courage to act on what your conscience is telling you. And, have planning conversations.