It has been years since my dining room table has been filled with the gold-painted clay pot angels I mentioned in today’s devotional, but every year I still struggle with confusing busyness with holiness. Each Advent, I recommit myself to making more time to be in God’s presence. However, at times life has a way of inconveniently intruding upon my desire for increased quiet time with God.
This year our family time was packed with work, volunteer, and vacation activities leading up to Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas, when my mother-in-law unexpectedly descended into a state of dementia. Seemingly overnight her active, independent lifestyle ended, and she needed around-the-clock care. Within only months, we found ourselves moving her three times, closing down her apartment, dealing with the concerns and opinions of family members, and setting appointments with doctors, nurses, and social workers, all while trying to comfort an increasingly confused, depressed, and dependent loved one.
Even living through this “inconvenient intrusion” I am amazed how God has provided my husband and me with the needed stamina, direction, time, humor, love, wisdom, and the support of our church, family, and friends to deal with our unexpected busyness.
My times alone with God are sometimes just a quick reminder: God is with you, be with God. But when I breathe this reality deep inside me, I feel a sense of renewal, purpose and direction. Though I have less time to physically withdraw to a quiet place, in the midst of busyness I have found my time alone with God.
“So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.”
— 1 John 4:16 (NRSV)