I am overcommitted, it is one of my worst characteristics. To know me [Jamie], is to know that if a new opportunity arises, I will jump on it like white on rice. I LOVE saying yes. Being a yes girl leads to living a busy life. “A busy bee” that is what my mom calls me. I used to think that was a badge of honor. Like a seal of approval, the world was stamping on my forehead. “She is always busy,” in my head translated to, “look at her go, she is on top of everything and so successful.” In a word, because I was busy, I was accomplished.
Then reality hit. This busy bee got overwhelmed and lost her connection with Jesus. I was stressed, tired, and losing focus on the things that mattered so that I could keep up with all the commitments. But, when I heard this quote, I knew it was God using someone else to give me a much-needed wake up call, “being busy isn’t an award - it’s a sign that you are incapable of choosing the thing that means the most and dropping the rest.”
Convicted. I knew that this message was meant for me. Because isn’t this what God calls us to do? Drop everything and follow Him?
And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.Luke 5:11 ESV
Immediately they left their nets and followed him.Matthew 4:20 ESV
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”Mark 10:21 ESV
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.Luke 9:23 ESV
“Come and follow me”
Repeatedly Jesus reminds us that we don’t need anything but Him, so why are we so determined to fill our lives up with everything but Him? Sometimes I feel like my mission in life is not to live well, but to live busy and that is not what Jesus had in mind for us.
My favorite of these is the reference to the story of Peter because it is the perfect reminder of why we need simplicity in our lives, why we cannot overload the boat that is our lives and our time. Peter couldn’t catch any fish, his boat was empty, but it was because of his empty boat that there was room for Jesus to step in the boat with him.
We need Jesus in our boat, but is there room?
In my pursuit of “busy” I lost sight of the one thing that really mattered, my relationship with Christ the King. I fished and fished and filled my boat with all the things and now, there is no room in my boat for Jesus.
Ever been there? Been so busy, so preoccupied with the “other” that you forget the one that died on the cross so that you could live for eternity? Well even if you aren’t willing to admit it, I am betting that you have because that is what wants. The further we are from God, the more room the devil must get in our heads and our hearts.
Simplicity isn’t needed to make our lives easier, it is needed to make our lives more holy, to make more room in the boat.
If you are currently in a boat with no room left for Jesus, here are some tips to help you simplify your life and make room for the King.
1. “Come and follow me”
There is a reason that this verse comes up repeatedly in the bible. Jesus knew that we would need the reminder. He knew that ungodly things would fill our lives and sometimes we need to learn to take a hint and simply follow Jesus. So do that today, schedule it, put it on your calendar if you must, but prioritize your time to go and follow Jesus.
2. What is filling your boat?
It is time to do an inventory and figure out if there are leaving you without time and energy to complete step 1. This time, it isn’t about quantity, but quality. Is it something that drains you? Is it something that has become an idol or a temptation for you? I think often when we think about what is filling our boat, time commitments come to mind, like jobs, extra activities, etc. but what about people? The things that fill our boat come in different forms, but they still take up room.
3. Let the Holy Spirit guide you
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.John 14:26 ESV
When you begin to unload you boat, don’t feel as though you are doing so alone, scripture promises you this, reach out to the Holy Spirit and let Him work through you, lean not into your own understanding, but into the one’s whose is much greater than you.
Part of simplifying your life is learning to rest in the quiet, in the peace. In a world that is in constant movement, rest can be difficult for many of us, but it is necessary.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work,Exodus 20:8-10 ESV
When you take a close look at the bible, it becomes easy to see the clear instructions we have been given. Simplify your life by simply following them. Pick a day, pick a time, and rest.
For those of us worried that if we aren’t busy enough, we won’t have this or that, or we will be missing something, I leave you with one last scripture:
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.vMatthew 6:30-33 ESV
He knows what we need, and he will provide it IF we seek first the kingdom of God. So, make room in your boat, simply your life, and follow Him. But there must first be room in your boat.
SAY A LITTLE PRAYER
Heavenly Father, we know you are good, but sometimes we are so overwhelmed, and our boats are so full that we can’t see your goodness. Lord, remind us today that you are all we need, that we can empty our boats with faith and trust to let you in and take care of us. Lord, bring us peace and rest throughout this time as we are reminded and encouraged to simplify our lives so that we can make room for you. Amen.
With Grace and Honesty,
A Little More About Jamie
Jamie is a southern girl transplanted to Maine. She spends her days writing, reading, and creating content as a social media specialist. By night she is a dog mom to Wilmy and Arbour, a novice sewer, and the heart behind With Grace and Honesty. Sharing her heart for Jesus with the world is her biggest mission in hopes that others might be inspired and feel His love through her writing. You can find Jami on Instagram.