Busyness

On Friday, November 11, 2011, LTi is hosting an event at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary entitled “Re-Ignited: Kindling Your Inner Fire for God” with special guest speaker Chris Webb (and yours truly). In anticipation of that event I am focusing my weekly blogs on the topic, “What are the winds that blow toward your soul and seek to extinguish your inner flame for God?”

Part four: busyness. Who among us can’t relate? To those entrapped and distracted by the things of this world, the Lord whispers gently to the ones he loves, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed…” (Luke 10: 38-42).

What is the status of your daily busyness? Are you consumed by the wanting, having, and doing of this world? Are you so entangled by the need to be active, productive, and effective that you’ve lost your zeal for the quieter more spacious place of listening prayer and living more attentively in partnership with God?

Unfortunately, most of us today are choosing the life of a “human doing” rather than a “human being” and we’ve been sold out to the look and feel of a materialistic society that keeps prodding us toward the muchness and manyness of this world. We’re driven almost to distraction by our constant flow of activity, noise, and chaotic confusion. From the time we awaken in the morning until the moment we lay our head on the pillow at night we are compulsively busy. We simply don’t know any other way, and we keep running on the treadmill of constant movement as long as we can sustain it.

Until we hit our wall of exhaustion and cry out “enough!” from the core of our innermost being. Eventually you (and I) will hit that wall; it’s inevitable, like a freight train moving ever so steadily downhill in exponentially frenetic speed. The sudden crash may be tragic for our soul, with the swift breeze extinguishing our inner passion for the Lord. Is it time to acknowledge your perpetual motion, drop to your knees, and cry out for God’s mercy? Is this the day you choose to follow the example of Martha’s sister Mary who “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said” (Luke 10: 39)?

When we lack a quiet center, without any ability or opportunity to listen for the still, small, beautiful, and inviting voice of God, we are living life consumed by the cares and concerns of this world. “What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Or, What shall we wear?” (Matthew 6: 31). To such anxiety, Jesus is very clear, “The pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6: 32,33).

Today, say no to unending busyness and yes to the true kingdom business of an abundant life in Christ: righteousness, joy, simplicity, and peace.

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.