As school events, work events, sports, band, and dance practices are in full swing, I keep thinking about a situation that happened to my wife and me a couple years ago.
One September day, my wife reached out to an old acquaintance to invite their family over for dinner. I had heard good things about their family, and I was excited to meet them. We knew that with 3 kids and school just starting back for them, it might be difficult, but we were ready to be flexible and patient.
My wife started texting back and forth with this mom of 3, and we were blown away that the entire Fall season was out for them. Not like “Tuesdays and Thursdays are bad for us,” but “The Fall is bad for us.” The wife texted us her weekly schedule and her family literally had events planned seven nights a week.
I’m sorry to report we eventually went our separate ways and never made it work.
Years later as I think about it, it saddens me that we never got to break bread with this family. We never got to know their kids; we never got to sit down and encourage each other in the faith.
Last week, the tables were turned on us, though.
A couple invited us over for dinner, and they offered 3 Saturday night options for us to choose from. We had to decline on all three options. We had each weekend already full. Now we were the couple that didn’t have room in our schedule.
These two stories make me think about the broader issue of our American busyness and how the enemy might be involved here.
The question is: Is a busy Christian less effective in building the Kingdom and our families?
I would argue, yes. In general, if Christians’ schedules are too busy, the enemy tends to gain ground.
When I’m especially busy, I find myself too distracted and too exhausted to love my neighbor, to invest in building relationships, to pray, to grow spiritually…heck, I’m lucky if I can hold the ground I’m on.
But we’re called to gain ground – you know, build the Kingdom. Building the Kingdom simply means we should be about the business of making disciples.
This Fall, as opportunities for more activities start flying at you to fill up your schedule, remember that saying no to something might be the most Spiritual thing you can do.
Saying no to another church or school activity can allow you to say yes to inviting a friend or neighbor over for dinner. Whether we believe it or not, our yeses and nos are leaving a legacy for our kids. We are showing them what our family prioritizes.
Are we saying yes to every activity under the sun, so we don’t look like we’re withholding anything from our kids?
Or are we being intentional about our yeses and aligning them with activities that build the Kingdom?
Just like how your checking account tells the real story of your priorities, so does your calendar.
What is your family calendar saying about your family’s priorities?